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GREAT  WAR   1861 -'65.  . 




(Lieut. -CoLOJfKL  SEVE^TIETH  Regiment  X.  C.  T.  ) 

VOL.   III.  ^ 


GOLDSBORO,    N.    C. 
1901     I 






TILOEN   <--- 
R  .--. 

— s 



Forty-Third  Regiment,  by  Colonel  Thomas  S.  Kenan,..^ 1 

Fortv-Third  Regiment,  (Company  A.)  by  Colonel  Thomas  S.  Kenan  •  19 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment,  by  Major  Charles  M.  Stedman '21 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment,  by  Sergeant  Cyrus  B.   Watson   35 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  J.   M.   Waddill 63 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment,  bii  Captain  John  H.  Thorp 83 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  J.  Rowan  Rogers 103 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment,  by  Captain,  W.  H.  H.  Lawhon 113 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  Thomas  R.  Roulhac 125 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment,  by  Captain  B.  F.  Dixon 151 

Fiftieth  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  J.  C.  Ellington 161 

Fifty -First  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  A.   A.  McKethan 205 

Fifty-Second  Regiment,  by  Adjutant  John  H.  Robinson 223 

Fifty  Third  Regiment,  by  Colonel  James  T  Morehead 255 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant  J.  Mai-shall  Williams 267 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment,  by  Adjutant  Charles  M.   Cooke 287 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment,  by  Captain  Robert  D.   Oraham 313 

Fifty-Seventh  Regiment,  by  Colonel  Hamilton  C  Jones 405 

Fifty-Eighth  Regiment,  by  Major  G.  W.  F.  Harper. 431 

Fifty-Eighth  Regiment,  by  Captain  Isaac  H.  Bailey 447 

Fifty-Ninth  Regiment,  (Fourth  Cav.,)  by  Lieutenant  W.  P.  Shaw..  455 

Sixtieth  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant- Colonel  James  M.  Ray 473 

Sixtieth  Regiment,  by  Captain  Thomas  W.  Patton .  .    499 

Sixty  First  Regiment,  by  Captain  N.  A.  Ramsey 503 

Sixty-Second  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant- Colonel  B.  G.  McDowell 515 

Sixty-Third  Regiment,  (Fifth  Cav.),  by  Major  John  M.  Galloway. .  529 

Sixty-Third  Regiment,  (Fifth  Cav.  ),  by  Private  Paul  B.  Means.  . . .  545 

Sixty-Fourth  Regiment,  by  Captain  B    T.  Morris 659 

Sixty -Fifth  Regiment.  (Sixth  Cav.),  by  Captain  M.   V.  Moore...  673 

Sixty-Sixth  Regiment,  by  Adjutant  George  M.  Rose 685 

Sixty-Seventh  Regiment,  by  Lieutenant- Colonel  Rufus  W.    Wharton  703 

Sixty-Eighth  Regiment,  by  Corporal  J.   W.  Evans 713 

Sixty-Eighth  Regiment,  by  Sergeant  W.  T.  Caho 725 

Sixty-Ninth  Regiment,  6?/ im(ie?ia/i/-CoZo?ie^  W.  W.  String  field 729 


■-^NOX  AND 



J.  Thos.  S.  Kenan,  Colonel. 

2.  W.  Gaston  Lewis,  Lieut. -Colonel. 

3.  James  (i.  Kenan,  Captain,  Co.  A. 

4.  Rufflu  Barnes,  Captain,  Co.  C. 

5.  Drury  Lacy,  Adjutant. 

6.  Wtti.  R.   Kenan,   -M  Lieut,  and 


7.  R   11.  Uttttle.  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  I. 


By  colonel  THOMAS  S.   KENAN. 

This  regiment  was  organized  at  Camp  Mangum,  about 
three  miles  west  of  Kaleigh,  in  March,  1862,  bj  electing 
Junius  Daniel,  Colonel;  Thomas  S.  Kenan  (Captain  Compa- 
ny A,  formerly  Captain  Company  C,  Second  Korth  Carolina 
Volunteers),  Lieutenant-Colonel;  and  Walter  J.  Boggan 
(Captain  Company  H),  Major,  commissions  bearing  date  25 
March,  1862.  Daniel  was  at  the  time  Colonel  of  the  Four- 
teenth Regiment,  and  soon  thereafter  was  also  chosen  Colonel 
of  the  Forty-fifth,  and  accepted.  Upon  his  reporting  for 
duty  he  was  placed  in  command  of  a  brigade,  of  which  the 
Forty-third  afterwards  formed  a  part.  Daniel  was  subse- 
quently promoted  to  Brigadier-General.  About  20  April, 
Kenan  was  notified  that  he  had  been  chosen  Colonel  of  the 
Thirty-eighth  upon  its  reorganization  at  Goldsboro,  the  in- 
formation being  officially  conveyed  by  the  hands  of  Lieuten- 
ant D.  M.  Pearsall,  of  the  Thirty-eighth;  but  he  remained 
with  the  Forty-third  and  was  elected  its  Colonel  a  few  days 
thereafter,  and  William  Gaston  Lewds  (Major  of  the  Thirty- 
third)  was  elected  Lieutenant-Colonel,  commissions  bearing 
date  24  April,  1862. 

The  staff  and  company  officers,  and  their  successors  by  pro- 
motion from  time  to  time  in  the  order  named,  as  appears 
from  the  "Roster  of  North  Carolina  Troops,"  pp.  196-225, 
and  gathered  from  memoranda  of  participants  in  the  opera- 
tions of  the  regiment,  were : 

Adjutants — Drury  Lacy,  W.  R.  Kenan. 
Surgeons — Bedford  Brown,  Jr.,  William  T.  Brewer,  Joel 
B.  Lewis. 

QuARTERMASTEES — Johu  W.  Hiusou,  Joscph  B.  Stafford. 

Commissary — W.  B.  Williams. 

Chaplains — Joseph  W.  Murphy,  Eugene  W.  Thompson. 

2  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'()5. 

Sekgeant-JMajohs — W.  T.  Smith,  Ilezekiah  Brown,  Thos. 
H.  Williams,  liobert  T.  Burwell,  W.  K.  Kenan. 


CoMi'A.xY  A — From  Dnplin — James  G.  Kenan  (succeeded 
T.  S.  Kenan)  ;  numl)er  of  enlisted  men,  117.  The  company 
entered  the  service  in  April,  1861,  and  was  Company  C,  Sec- 
ond North  Carolina  Volunteers  (Colonel  Sol.  Williams),  sta- 
tioned near  Xorfolk.  Upon  the  expiration  of  its  six-months 
term  of  service  it  was  reorganized  and  assigned  to  the  Forty- 
third.  Captain  Kenan,  of  this  company,  was  wounded  and 
captured  at  Gettysburg,  and  was  a  prisoner  when  the  war 
ended,  and  many  of  the  officers,  liereinafter  named,  met  a 
similar  fate,  or  were  killed  or  disabled  there  or  in  subsequent 
engagements,  but  a  correct  list  of  casualties  cannot  now  be 
had — and  they  were  so  numerous  that  during  the  latter  part 
of  the  war  the  regiment  was  commanded  by  Captains,  and 
companies  by  Lieutenants,  Sergeants  and  Corporals. 

CoiMPAKY  B — From  Mecldoiburg — Robert  P.  Waring, 
William  E.  Stitt.     Enlisted  men,  73. 

Company  C — From  ^yihon — James  S.  Woodard,  Kuffin 
Barnes.     Enlisted  men,  102. 

Company  D — From  Halifax — Cary  Whitaker.  Enlisted 
men,  93. 

Company  E — From  Edgecombe — John  A.  Vines,  Jas.  R. 
Thigpen,  Wiley  J.  Cobb.     Enlisted  men,  96. 

Company  F — From  Halifax — William  R.  Williams,  Wm. 
C.  Ousby,  Henry  A.  Macon.     Enlisted  men,  101. 

Company  G — From  Warren — Wm.  A.  Dowtin,  Levi  P. 
Coleman,  Alfred  W.  Bridgers.     Enlisted  men,  110. 

Company  H — From  Anson — John  H.  Coppedge  (suc- 
ceeded W.  J.  Boggan),  Hampton  Beverly.  Enlisted  men, 

Company  I — From  Anson — Robert  T.  Hall,  John  Bal- 
lard.    Enlisted  men,  139. 

Company  K — From  An-son — James  Boggan,  Caswell  H. 
Sturdivant.     Enlisted  men,  120. 

Forty-Third  Regiment. 


Company  A,  James  G.  Kenan,  Robert  B.  Carr. 

Company  B,  Henry  Ringstaff,  William  E.  Stitt. 

Company  C,  Henry  King,  Rnffin  Barnes,  L.  D.  Killett. 

Company  D,  Thomas  W.  Baker,  John  S.  Whitaker. 

Company-  E,  James  R.  Thigpen,  Wiley  J.  Cobb,  Charles 

Company  F,  William  C.  Onsby,  Henry  A.  Macon,  J.  H. 

Company'  G,  Levi  P.  Coleman,  Alfred  W.  Bridgers. 

Company-  H,  John  H.  Coppedge,  Hampton  Beverly,  Ben- 
jamin F.  Moore. 

Company'  I,  Richard  H.  Battle,  Jr.,  John  H.  Threadgill. 

Company'  K,  Caswell  H.  Sturdivant,  Henry  E.  Shepherd. 


Company'  A,  Robert  B.  Carr,  John  W.  Hinson,  Thomas  J. 
Bostic,  Stephen  D.  Farrior. 

Company'  B,  William  E.  Stitt,  Julius  Alexander,  Robert 
T.  Burwell. 

Company'  C,  William  T.  Brewer,  Ruffin  Barnes,  L.  D.  Kil- 
lett, Bennett  Barnes,  Hezekiah  Brown. 

Company  D,  John  S.  Whitaker,  William  Beavans,  George 
W.  Wills. 

Company  E,  Wiley  J.  Cobb,  Van  B.  Sharpe,  John  H. 
Leigh,  Charles  Vines,  Willis  R.  Dupree,  Thomas  H.  Wil- 

Company'  F,  Henry  A.  Macon,  William  R.  Bond,  J.  H. 
Morris,  W.  L.  M.  Perkins,  Jesse  A.  Macon. 

Company  G,  William  B.  Williams,  Alexander  L.  Steed, 
John  B.  Powell,  Luther  R.  Crocker. 

Company  H,  Hampton  Beverly,  Benjamin  F.  Moore,  W. 
W.  Boggan,  Henry  C.  Beaman,  Peter  B.  Lilly. 

Company  I,  John  H.  Threadgill,  John  Ballard,  Stephen 
W.  Ellerbee,  Leonidas  L.  Polk. 

Company  K,  John  A.  Boggan,  Stephen  Huntley,  Francis 
j:.  Flake. 

4  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

The  regiment  Avas  ordered  to  Wilmington  and  Fort 
Johnson  at  Smithville,  on  the  Cape  Fear  river,  where  it  re- 
mained about  a  month  in  General  French's  command,  and 
thence  to  Virginia.  Daniel's  Brigade,  composed  of  the 
Thirtj-second,  Forty-third,  Forty-fifth,  Fiftieth  and  Fifty- 
third  Regiments,  was  placed  in  the  command  of  Major-Gen- 
eral  Holmes,  and  on  the  last  of  the  seven  days'  operations 
around  Richmond  was  ordered  to  occupy  the  road  near  the 
James  river,  where  it  was  subjected  to  a  fierce  shelling  from 
the  gunboats  on  the  right  and  the  batteries  on  Malvern  Ilill 
in  front,  but  was  not  in  the  regular  engagement;  was  after- 
wards ordered  to  Drewry's  Bluff,  and  constituted  part  of 
the  forces  under  Major-General  G.  W.  Smith  for  the  protec- 
tion of  Richmond  and  vicinity  during  the  advance  of  the 
army  under  General  Lee  into  Maryland  in  September,  1862  ; 
and  about  the  same  time  a  demonstration  was  made  against 
Suffolk,  Va.,  by  troops  under  General  French  (this  regi- 
ment being  a  portion  of  them),  probably  for  the  purpose  of 
preventing  the  Federals  from  sending  reinforcements  from 
that  territory  to  oppose  the  movement  of  the  Confederates  in 
Maryland.  They  returned  in  about  ten  days,  and  the  regi- 
ment resumed  its  position  at  Drewry's  Bluff,  where  it  was 
engaged  in  drilling  and  putting  up  breastworks  under  the 
direction  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Lewis,  who,  being  a  civil 
engineer  by  profession,  was  ordered  by  the  brigade  com-- 
mander  to  supervise  their  construction.  Shortly  after  quar- 
ters were  prepared  for  the  winter,  the  brigade  was  ordered 
to  Goldsboro,  in  December,  1862,  to  reinforce  the  Confeder- 
ates in  opposing  the  advance  of  the  Union  troops  from  Xew 
Bern  under  General  Foster ;  but  on  the  day  before  its  arrival 
they  succeeded  in  burning  the  railroad  bridge  over  the  Neuse 
river,  and,  after  a  sharp  engagement  with  the  Confederates 
on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  retreated  to  their  base  of  oper- 
ations at  New  Bern.  The  bridge  was  immediately  rebuilt 
on  trestles  by  a  detail  of  men  from  the  brigade,  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Lewis  superintending  the  work. 

During  the  spring  of  1863  it  was  stationed  at  Kinston  and 
detachments  sent  out  to  prevent  the  approach  of  the  enemy 
into  the  interior.     Major-General  D.  11.  Hill  having  assumed 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  5 

conunand  of  the  department,  directed  demonstrations  to  be 
made  in  aid  of  military  operations  at  other  points  and  to  com- 
pel the  enemy  to  abandon  their  outposts.  In  the  affair  at 
Deep  Gully,  a  small  creek,  upon  the  eastern  bank  of  which 
the  enemy  were  entrenched,  the  Forty-third  was  ordered  to 
attack,  and  after  a  few  rounds  the  enemy  abandoned  the  works 
and  retreated.  The  brigade  was  then  ordered  to  Washing- 
ton, IST.  C,  and  was  there  subjected  to  the  artillery  fire  of 
the  Union  forces  occupying  that  place,  but,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  some  skirmishing,  no  engagement  was  brought  on.  It 
then  returned  to  its  former  quarters  at  Kinston,  and,  later  on, 
went  to  Fredericksburg,  Va.,  and  was  assigned  to  Rodes' 
Division  of  the  Second  Corps  (Ewell's),  the  Thirty-second, 
Forty-third,  Forty-fifth  and  Fifty-third  Regiments  and  the 
Second  ISTorth  Carolina  Battalion  then  constituting  the  brig- 
ade— the  Fiftieth  Regiment  having  been  assigned  to  another 
brigade.  The  Army  of  Northern  Virginia  was  there  reviewed 
by  General  Lee  and  ordered  to  commence  the  memorable 
Pennsylvania  campaign  in  June,  1863. 


Upon  arriving  at  Brandy  Station  the  brigade  was  placed 
in  line  of  battle  to  meet  any  attempted  advance  of  Union  in- 
fantry to  support  its  cavalry,  but  was  not  engaged — the  main 
fighting  in  that  terrific  battle  (9  June)  being  between  the 
cavalry  of  the  opposing  armies.  At  Berryville  the  enemy 
were  driven  by  the  cavalry,  supported  by  this  brigade,  and 
camp  equipage,  etc.,  captured.  It  then  marched  by  way  of 
Martinsburg,  Williamsport,  Hagerstown  and  Chambersburg 
to  Carlisle,  Pa.,  and  occupied  the  barracks  at  that  place,  from 
which  it  was  ordered  to  Gettysburg. 


Upon  arriving  at  Gettysburg,  on  Wednesday,  1  July,  1863, 
about  1  o'clock  p.  m.,  a  line  of  battle  was  formed  near  For- 
ney's house,  northwest  of  the  town  and  to  the  left  of  Pender's 
Division  of  Hill's  Corps,  which  had  repulsed  the  enemy  in 
the  forenoon,  and  the  troops  advanced  to  the  attack.     The 

6  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

fight  was  continued  till  late  in  the  afternoon  and  the  enemy 
driven  back,  the  brigade  being  handled  with  consummate  skill 
by  the  brave  General  Daniel.  Seminary  Ridge  was  gained 
and  occupied — the  right  of  the  Forty-third  resting  on  the 
railroad  cut.  The  fight  was  terrific  and  the  loss  heavy  on 
both  sides.  On  Thursday  morning,  2  July,  the  regiments 
were  assigned  to  various  positions  iipon  the  line.  The  Forty-' 
third  supported  a  battery,  during  the  artillery  duel  which 
continued  nearly  the  whole  day,  at  a  point  on  the  Ridge  just 
north  of  the  Seminary  building,  and  the  shot  and  shell  from 
the  guns  of  the  enemy  on  Cemetery  Heights  caused  serious 
loss.  It  was  during  this  cannonade  that  General  Lee  and 
staff  passed  to  the  front  along  the  road  near  by,  and  the  troops 
saluted  him  by  raising  their  hats  in  silence,  and  were  encour" 
aged  by  his  presence.  From  this  point  a  movement  was 
commenced  at  night  in  line  of  battle,  in  the  direction  of  the 
enemy's  works,  the  skirmishers  firing  upon  the  Confederates 
and  retreating,  but  inflicting  no  loss.  The  moon  was  shin^ 
ing  brightly,  and  it  seemed  that  a  night  attack  upon  Cemetery 
Heights  was  contemplated ;  but  when  the  brigade  crossed  the 
valley  in  front,  orders  were  given  to  march  by  the  left  flank 
near  the  southern  and  eastern  limits  of  the  town,  and  about 
daybreak  on  Friday,  3  July,  it  reported  to  Major-General 
Johnson,  who  commanded  the  Division  of  Ewell's  Cor])s  on 
the  extreme  left  of  the  Confederate  line.  Daniel's  Brigade, 
with  other  troops,  had  been  ordered  to  reinforce  Johnson's 
position  on  Culp's  Hill.  •  It  marched  nearly  all  night,  and 
formed  a  line  of  battle  near  Benner's  House,  crossed  Rock 
Creek,  and,  through  the  undergrowth,  among  large  boulders 
and  up  the  heavily  timbered  hill,  the  attack  n]ion  the  enemy 
was  made,  the  line  of  works  (formed  by  felled  trees)  taken, 
but  the  charge  upon  tlie  main  line  was  repulsed.  Colonel 
Kenan,  of  the  Forty-third,  was  wounded  in  leading  this 
charge,  and  taken  from  the  field  (captured  on  the  retreat  and 
imprisoned  until  the  close  of  the  war),  and  the  connnand  de- 
volved on  Lieutenant-Colonel  Lewis. 

The  forces  under  Johnson  held  their  positions  until  night, 
when  they  were  withdrawn^the  Forty-third  occupying  its 
first  position  on  Seminary  Ridge  until   tlio  army  moved  to 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  7 

Hagerstown.  On  the  retreat  it  was  assigned  the  rear  posi- 
tion, and  in  consequence  was  repeatedly  engaged  with  the 
Union  advance.  After  remaining  at  Hagerstown  a  few  days 
the  Confederates  crossed  the  swollen  Potomac  (carrying  their 
guns  and  their  ammunition  on  their  heads,  the  water  being 
up  to  their  armpits),  and  fell  back  to  the  village  of  Darks- 
ville.  Later,  they  were  in  front  of  the  Federal  army,  on  the 
south  bank  of  the  Rapidan  river,  guarding  the  fords,  and  en- 
gaged the  enemy  at  Mine  Run  when  an  advance  towards 
Richmond  was  made.  After  the  retreat  of  the  Federals  to 
the  north  of  the  Rapidan,  and  active  operations  having  com- 
paratively ceased,  winter  quarters  were  built,  but  they  were 
not  long  occupied  by  this  regiment,  for  it  was  detached  for 
duty  with  General  Hoke's  Brigade  in  the  winter  campaign  in 
1863-'64  in  Eastern  Korth  Carolina,  Major-General  Pickett 
being  in  command  of  all  the  forces. 

In  this  campaign  Hoke's  Brigade  consisted  of  the  Sixth, 
Twenty-first,  Fifty-fourth  and  Fifty-seventh  J^orth  Carolina 
Regiments  and  the  First  North  Carolina  Battalion,  and  at- 
tached to  it  were  the  Forty-third  iSTorth  Carolina  and  Twen- 
ty-first Georgia.  In  approaching  New  Bern  this  regiment 
arrived  at  Bachelor's  creek,  about  seven  miles  from  the  city, 
and  made  a  night  attack  upon  the  enemy's  works,  but,  discov- 
ering that  the  flooring  of  a  bridge  across  the  creek,  about 
seventy-five  feet  long,  had  been  removed  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lewis  informed  General  Hoke  that  if  he  would  send  him 
plank  from  the  pontoon  train  he  would  renew  the  attack  as 
soon  as  practicable.  Hoke  complied,  and  the  attack  was 
made  at  daylight  the  next  day — one  of  the  companies  laying 
the  plank,  under  fire,  and  the  others  crossing  over,  also  under 
fire,  driving  the  enemy  and  causing  a  retreat  to  New  Bern. 

There  were  also  some  Union  troops  at  Clark's  brickyard, 
on  the  Atlantic  &  North  Carolina  Railroad,  nine  miles  above 
the  city,  and  information  was  received  that  a  train  of  cars  had 
been  sent  from  New  Bern  to  bring  them  in.  The  regiment 
was  ordered  to  capture  this  train,  without  wrecking  it,  if 
possible,  and  accordingly  a  three-mile  march  at  quick  and 
double-quick  time  was  made  to  intercept  it.  When  the  regi- 
ment got  within  about  twenty  or  thirty  yards  of  the  track 

8  North  Carolina  Troops,   186l-'65. 

the  train  was  passing  at  its  highest  speed,  and  shots  were 
exchanged  between  the  opposing  parties.  If  success  had  at- 
tended this  movement,  the  purpose  of  General  Hoke  was  to 
place  his  troops  on  the  train,  run  into  the  town  and  surprise 
the  garrison.  Pickett's  expedition,  however,  was  not  suc- 
cessful, and  the  troops  fell  back  to  Kinston,  remaining  there 
a  few  weeks,  and  then  marched  on  Plymouth. 


April  18,  19  and  20,  1864:  General  Hoke,  who  suc- 
ceeded to  the  command  of  all  the  forces  in  this  department, 
directed  the  campaign,  and  was  also  authorized  by  the  ISTavj 
Department  to  secure  the  co-operation  of  the  Confederate 
ram,  Albernarle,,  then  near  Hamilton  on  the  Roanoke  river, 
in  an  unfinished  state  and  in  charge  of  Commander  Cooke. 
Colonel  Mercer,  of  the  Twenty-first  Georgia,  commanded 
Hoke's  Brigade.  He  was  killed  in  a  charge  at  night  upon  a 
fort  about  half  a  mile  in  advance  of  the  enemy's  line  of  works 
at  Plymouth,  and  Lewis,  of  the  Forty-third,  assumed  com- 
mand and  was  subsequently  promoted  to  Brigadier-General. 
The  fort  was  taken  and  the  Alhe marie  simultaneously 
steamed  down  the  river  and  engaged  the  enemy,  sinking  one 
of  their  gunboats  and  driving  their  flotilla  a  considerable  dis- 
tance below  Plymouth,  thus  relieving  the  land  forces  in 
future  movements  of  the  apprehended  attack  from  them. 
During  the  night  the  different  commands  were  placed  in 
position  for  the  general  assault  upon  the  works  around  the 
town,  and  this  necessitated  the  moving  of  the  troops  by  cir- 
cuitous routes  to  avoid  being  discovered  by  the  enemy,  and 
consumed  all  of  the  19th.  Accordingly,  on  the  morning  of 
the  20th  General  Matt.  Ransom  attacked  on  the  east  side  of 
the  town,  Lewis  on  the  west  and  Hoke,  with  the  other  brig- 
ades, moved  upon  the  enemy's  center.  The  town  was  taken 
in  a  short  while,  the  garrison  and  an  immense  amount  of  sup- 
plies being  captured.  The  brilliancy  and  dash  of  this  move- 
ment, which  was  planned  and  faithfully  executed  according 
to  the  directions  of  the  commanding  officer,  received  recogni- 
tion in  the  following : 

Besolved  by   the   Congress  of  the   Confederate   States  of 

[the  new  YORK 




1.    R.  B.  Carr,  1st  Lieut,  Co.  A.  3.    L.  L.  Polk-,  M  Lieut..  Co.  I. 

S.    Robt.  Turnbull  Burwell,  1st  Lieut.,    4.    B.  F.  Hall.  SerKeant,  Co.  A. 

Co.  B.  5.    Robert  J.  Southerlaud,  Sergeant,  Co.  A. 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  9 

America,  That  the  thanks  of  Congress  and  the  country  are 
due  and  are  tendered  to  Major-General  Robert  F.  Hoke  and 
Commander  James  W.  Cooke,  and  the  officers  and  men  under 
their  command,  for  the  brilliant  victory  over  the  enemy  at 
Plymouth,  N.  C. 

Joint  resolution,  approved  17  May,  1864.  Official  Records 
Union  and  Confederate  Armies,  Vol.  60,  page,  305. 

Washington,  J^.  C,  was  next  threatened,  and  after  an  ar- 
tillery duel  during  the  day  the  enemy  evacuated  it.  The 
forces  then  moved  upon  'New  Bern  again.  The  Forty-third 
engaged  the  enemy  about  nine  miles  from  the  city  during  the 
afternoon  of  2  May,  and  again  on  the  morning  of  the  next 
day.  The  enemy  were  forced  back  in  a  running  fight  Avithin 
sight  of  the  town.  At  this  juncture,  when  the  capture  of  the 
town  seemed  probable,  orders  were  received  to  march  imme- 
diately back  to  Kinston  and  thence  to  Petersburg,  which 
point  General  Butler,  of  the  Union  army,  Avas  threatening 
with  a  large  force.  The  distance  covered  by  the  regiment 
on  this  day's  march,  including  the  running  fight  towards 
New  Bern  and  the  return  to  Kinston,  was  thirty-seven  miles 
in  about  twelve  hours.  Of  the  reinforcements  ordered  to 
Petersburg  the  Forty-third  was  the  first  regiment  to  arrive, 
and,  there  being  but  few  other  troops  on  the  ground,  orders 
were  given  to  occupy  the  entrenchments  in  front  of  the  city 
by  deploying  at  twenty  paces,  and,  in  order  to  impress  the 
enemy  with  the  belief  that  they  were  confronted  by  a  large 
force,  instructions  were  given  to  make  as  much  noise  as  pos- 
sible and  fire  off  guns  at  frequent  intervals.  From  this  time 
till  15  May  the  regiment  was  moved  to  different  portions  of 
the  line,  from  the  south  of  Petersburg  to  the  north  of  Rich- 
mond, a  distance  of  about  thirty  miles,  seldom  remaining 
more  than  one  day  at  any  point.  These  frequent  movements 
were  deemed  necessary  on  account  of  the  small  force  availa- 
ble to  meet  real  or  supposed  movements  of  the  Union  army. 
In  the  meantime  reinforcements  were  brought  in,  and  Gen- 
eral Beauregard  commanded  the  Confederate  forces  in  the 
engagement  which  took  place  the  next  day. 

10  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

the  battle  of  drewky^s  bluff^  16  may,,  1864. 

The  attack  was  made  by  the  Confederates  about  daylight 
under  cover  of  a  dense  fog.  When  within  about  forty  paces 
of  the  enemy's  main  line  the  Forty-third  encountered  (as 
did  also  the  other  troops  of  the  division)  a  line  of  telegraph 
wires  fastened  to  stumps  about  twelve  inches  above  the 
ground,  which  caused  most  of  the  men  to  trip  and  fall.  This 
checked  the  forward  movement,  but  from  this  position  a 
heavy  fire  was  poured  into  the  enemy  until  they  were  dis- 
lodged. Finding  their  ammunition  nearly  exhausted,  as  the 
enemy  commenced  retreating  the  regiment  repaired  to  the 
rear  to  replenish  it.  This  being  done,  it  returned  to  the 
line  near  the  right  of  General  Robert  Ransom's  Division,  to 
which  it  was  then  temporarily  attached,  and  occupied  the 
right  of  the  brigade  in  a  charge  upon  the  works  when  a  bat- 
tery of  artillery  was  captured,  the  enemy  driven  across  the 
turnpike  and  a  position  in  rear  of  the  Union  forces  secured. 
The  position  of  the  regiment  was  now  near  the  turnpike^ 
which  constituted  the  dividing  line  of  the  divisions  of  Ran- 
som and  Hoke  during  most  of  the  engagement.  Hoke,  being 
appointed  Major-General  after  the  battle  of  Plymouth,  was 
assigned  to  the  conunand  of  another  division  after  his  arrival 
at  Drewry's  Bluff.  About  this  time  a  council  of  war  was 
held  on  the  turnpike,  which  was  participated  in  by  a  dis- 
tinguished group,  consisting  of  President  Davis,  Generals 
Beauregard,  Ransom  and  Hoke,  with  their  respective  staff  of- 
ficers. Very  soon  after  this  incident,  the  enemy  having 
given  way  at  all  points  of  the  line,  were  driven  into  Bermuda 
Hundreds,  the  angle  between  the  James  and  Appomattox 
rivers,  under  cover  of  their  gunboats,  this  regiment  taking 
part  in  the  pursuit. 

After  remaining  in  line  of  battle  in  front  of  General  But- 
ler's troops  for  about  two  days,  orders  were  issued  for  the 
regiment  to  rejoin  its  old  brigade  in  the  Army  of  Northern 
Virginia.  In  obedience  thereto  it  marched  to  Drewry's 
Bluff  and  was  transported  by  boat  to  Richmond,  thence  by 
rail  to  Milford  Station  on  the  Richmond  and  Fredericks- 
burg Railroad,  reaching  there  about  noon  on  21  May,  1864. 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  11 

The  march  was  at  once  resumed,  and  the  regiment  bivouacked 
that  night  near  Spottsylvania  Court  House.  The  army- 
having  been  withdrawn  from  its  position  in  front  on  the  night 
of  the  21st  to  meet  a  movement  of  the  enemy,  who  had  retired 
towards  the  North  Anna,  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  follow 
on  the  morning  of  the  2 2d.  Late  in  the  afternoon,  informa- 
tion was  received  from  General  Ewell  that  the  regiment  was 
then  in  the  rear  and  in  danger  of  being  captured.  To  avoid 
this  risk  an  all-niglit  march  was  made,  the  old  brigade  joined 
and  the  enemy  again  confronted  near  Hanover  Junction  on 
the  morning  of  the  23d.  It  was  then  commanded  by  Gen- 
eral Bryan  Grimes,  Daniel  having  been  killed  at  Spottsylva- 
nia on  12  ]\Iay,  and  General  Lewis  remained  in  charge  of 
Hoke's  old  Brigade.  In  this  march  more  than  60  miles  were 
traversed,  and  the  troops  were  hungry  and  nearly  exhausted. 
But  not  long  after  arriving  upon  the  groun<l  a  line  of  bat- 
tle was  formed  northwest  of  the  Junction  and  earthworks 
thrown  up.  After  dark  this  line  was  al)andoned  and  the  reg- 
iment withdrawn  about  a  mile  to  the  rear,  and  occupi('<l  the 
bank  of  a  railroad  cut,  leaving  the  brigade  sharpsliooters  in 
possession  of  the  first  line.  Xext  day  (24  May),  about  noon, 
the  enemy  in  force  attacked  the  sharpshooters  and  drove  them 
from  their  position.  Companies  A  and  F,  numbering  about 
seventy  men,  under  command  of  Lieutenants  Bostic,  Farrior 
and  Morris,  were  detailed  and  sent  to  the  front  with  instruc- 
tions to  retake  the  works.  On  reaching  the  works  they  found 
that  both  sides  of  them  were  occupied  by  a  regiment  of  Union 
troops,  supported  by  a  brigade  at  a  short  distance  to  the  rear. 
On  the  sudden  appearance  of  this  small  force  from  the  thick 
woods  which  covered  their  approach,  they  were  ordered  by 
the  enemy  to  surrender.  To  tliis  they  responded  with  a 
quick  and  destructive  fire  at  close  range,  and,  after  a  hand- 
to-hand  tight  of  several  minutes,  forced  them  to  the  opposite 
side  of  the  breastworks,  and  the  assault  was  fiercely  con- 
tinued about  two  hours.  Encouraged  by  the  forward  move- 
ment of  the  brigade  and  the  firing  of  a  field  battery  consti- 
tuting their  support,  the  LTnion  forces  attempted  several 
times  to  retake  the  position,  but  were  as  often  repulsed.  A 
heavy  rain  having  set  in,  the  firing  ceased  and  the  enemy 

12  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

withdrew  under  cover  of  the  rain  and  approaching  darkness. 
After  the  rain  ceased  a  survey  of  the  field  was  made,  showing 
a  larger  number  of  dead  and  wounded  of  the  enemy  than  the 
aggregate  number  of  the  two  companies  engaged  in  the  fight. 
On  receiving  a  detailed  report  of  the  affair  and  its  results, 
General  Grimes  was  heard  to  express  himself  to  the  effect 
that  all  things  considered,  he  believed  this  to  be  one  of  the 
great  fights  of  the  war.  These  two  companies  rejoined  the 
regiment  after  dark,  and  in  a  few  hours  the  entire  army  re- 
tired towards  Richmond  to  confront  the  Union  army,  then 
moving  in  the  same  direction. 

jSTothing  of  special  note  occurred,  except  frequent  skir- 
mishing, till  the  battle  of  Bethesda  Church,  which  was  fought 
on  the  afternoon  of  30  May.  Further  skirmishing  took 
place  on  31  May  and  1  June,  and  the  battle  of  Gaines'  Mill 
was  fought  2  June,  and  Cold  Harbor  3  June,  in  all  of  which 
this  regiment  bore  its  part. 

After  the  battle  of  Cold  Harbor,  the  Second  Corps,  then 
commanded  by  General  Early,  was  ordered  into  camp  near 
Gaines'  Mill  and  held  in  reserve  till  13  June.  The  sharp- 
shooters of  Rodes'  Division  had  been  previously  organized 
into  a  separate  corps  under  command  of  Captain  W.  E.  Stirt 
(Company  B),  and  numbered  about  one  thousand  men,  made 
up  of  details  from  the  different  regiments,  the  Forty-third 
contributing  about  thirty-five  from  the  right  wing  under 
command  of  Lieutenant  Perkins  (Company  F),  and  thirty- 
five  from  the  left  wing  under  command  of  Sergeant-Ma j or 
Kenan,  who  had  been  appointed  by  the  brigade  commander, 
10  June,  a  Junior-Second  Lieutenant.  On  13  June  the  Sec- 
ond Corps  was  ordered  to  Lynchburg,  Va.,  arriving  there  on 
the  18th,  and  in  the  afternoon  the  sharpshooters  engaged 
those  of  the  Union  forces.  The  withdrawal  of  the  encMay 
during  the  night  was  promptly  discovered,  and  the  sharp- 
shooters marching  at  the  head  of  the  division  in  pursuit  over- 
took their  rear  guard  at  Liberty,  when  another  skirmish  en- 
sued, and  again  at  Buford's  Gap  on  the  afternoon  of  the 
20th.  The  pursuit  was  continued  on  the  21st  through  Salem, 
Va.,  where  another  skirmish  took  place.  On  the  2 2d  the 
troops  rested  at  Salem,  and  resumed  the  march  on  the  23d  in 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  13 

the  direction  of  the  Potomac  river,  reaching  Staunton  early 
on  the  morning  of  the  27th;  remained  there  till  the  next 
morning,  and  then  marched  to  Harper's  Ferry,  which  was 
reached  on  the  morning  of  4  July.     Here  the  Corps  of  Divis- 
ion sharpshooters  captured  Bolivar  Heights  about  10  a.  m., 
and  about  8  p.  m.   drove  the  enemy  from  Harper's  Ferry 
across   the   river   to   Maryland   Heights.     On   the    5th   the 
Forty-third  occupied   Harper's  Ferry,   relieving  the  sharp- 
shooters.     Skirmishing  continued  most  of  the  day.     On  the 
6th  the  corps  crossed  the  Potomac  at  Shepherdstown  and 
engaged  the  enemy  in  the  rear  of  Maryland  Heights,  the  bat- 
tle continuing  ne"'arly  all  day.     On    the    7th    they    moved 
through  C'rampton's  Gap  towards  Frederick,  and  after  fre- 
quent skirmishing  reached  Frederick  on  the  morning  of  the 
9th,  where  General  Lew  Wallace's  Division  of  Union  troops 
was  strongly  posted  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Monocacy 
river.     After  a  stubborn  fight  they  were  driven   from  the 
field,  with  the  loss  of  a  large  number  of  killed,  wounded  and 
prisoners.     On  the  10th  the  Confederates  moved  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Washington  City,  and,  after  a  hard  march  in  extreme- 
ly hot  weather  and  over  a  dusty    road,    arrived    in    front 
of  Fort  Stevens  abo\it  noon  of  the  11th,  within  sight  of  the 
dome  of  the  Federal  Capitol.     The  sharpshooters  advanced 
within  200  yards  of  the  fort,  but  retired  to  a  position  about 
300  yards  to  the  rear,  where  they  halted  and  dug  rifle-pits. 
In  the  afternoon  the  enemy  threw  forward  a  heavy  li-ne  of 
skirmishers,  who  attacked  vigorously,  but  were  repulsed  with 
some  loss.     Here,  our  sharpshooters  remained,  subjected  to 
a  severe  shelling  from  the  forts  till  the  afternoon  of  the  12th, 
when  the  enemy,  reinforced  by  two  corps  from  the  Army  of 
the  Potomac,  advanced  and  drove  them  from  their  improvised 
works.     Rodes'  Division  then  moved  forward  and  retook  the 
lost  ground.     The  casualties  on  both  sides  were  considera- 
ble.    On  account  of  the  arrival  of  the  above-mentioned  rein- 
forcements,  a   further   advance  of  Early's   troops  was  not 
made,  and  they  were  withdrawn  on  the  night  of  the  12th,  and 
recrossed  the  Potomac  on  the  14th  near  Leesburg,  Va.     The 
movement  into  Maryland  was  probably  made  to  create  a 
diversion  in  favor  of  operations  around  Richmond. 

14  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

Thus,  within  thirty  days  the  army  of  which  the  Forty- 
third  composed  a  part  had  marched  about  five  hundred  miles 
and  taken  part  in  not  less  than  twelve  battles  and  skirmishes, 
in  most  of  which  the  enemy  were  deafeated  with  severe 

The  troops  then  moved  towards  the  Valley  of  Virginia, 
and  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge  at  Snicker's  Gap  on  17  July,  the 
Union  troops  slowly  following  and  an  additional  force  threat- 
ening the  flank  of  the  Confederate  right.  On  the  afternoon 
of  that  day  Rodes'  Division  attacked  the  enemy  at  Snicker's 
Ford,  driving  them  into  the  Shenandoah  river,  where  the  loss 
in  killed  and  drowned  was  heavy.  On  the  19th  the  division 
moved  towards  Strasburg,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  the  20th 
went  to  the  support  of  General  Ramseur,  who  was  resisting 
an  attack  near  Winchester.  But  the  engagement  having 
ceased  before  the  arrival  of  the  division,  it  retired  to  Fisher's 
Hill  and  there  remained  till  the  morning  of  the  24th,  when 
an  attack  was  made  upon  the  enemy  at  Kernstown  and  they 
were  driven  across  the  Potomac  and  followed  into  Maryland. 
And  tlien  Rodes'  Division,  sometimes  in  detachments  and  at 
others  in  a  body,  marched  and  countermarched  between  the 
Potomac  river  and  Fisher's  Hill  until  September  2 2d.  Dur- 
ing this  time  the  Forty-third  Regiment  was  engaged  in  al- 
most daily  skirmishing,  and  took  part  in  the  battles  of  Win- 
chester, 17  August;  Charlestown,  21  August;  Smithfield,  29 
August;  Bunker's  Hill,  3  September;  Winchester  (No.  2), 
19  September,  and  Fisher's  Hill,  22  September. 

Having  been  defeated  in  the  last  engagement  at  Fisher's 
Hill,  the  Confederates  retreated  up  the  valley,  followed  by 
the  enemy  to  Waynesboro,  where  reinforcements  were  re- 
ceived, and  then,  on  1  October,  returned  down  the  valley, 
reaching  Fisher's  Hill  on  13  October.  The  Forty-third  com- 
posed part  of  the  body  of  troops  which  marched  around  the 
left  and  rear  of  the  enemy's  camp  at  Cedar  Creek  on  the 
night  of  18  October,  preparatory  to  the  general  attack  made 
on  the  morning  of  the  19th,  resulting  in  their  defeat  in  the 
early  part  of  the  day.  Reinforcements  having  been  received 
by  the  enemy  in  the  afternoon,  the  tide  of  battle  was  turned 
and  the  Confederates  were  driven  up  the  valley  to  New  Mar- 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  15 

ket,  where  they  remained  in  camp  without  further  incident 
till  about  22  November,  when  a  considerable  body  of  Union 
cavalry  under  the  command  of  General  Sheridan  was  at- 
tacked and  routed  by  Rodes'  Division  between  New  Market 
and  Mount  Jackson.  This  ended  the  noted  Valley  campaign 
of  18G4. 

About  a  week  before  Christmas,  the  Forty-third,  with  the 
other  tr(jops  composing  the  old  Second  Corps  of  the  Army 
of  Xortlieni  Virginia,  returned  to  Petersl)urg  and  went  into 
Avinter  (piarters  on  Swift  creek,  three  miles  north  of  the  city. 
The  next  movement  was  to  Southerland's  Depot,  on  the  right 
wing  of  the  army,  south  of  Petcrsljurg,  on  1')  February,  1865. 
Here  tlie  regiment  remaiiu'*!  with  the  otlier  troops  of  the 
division  till  about  the  middle  of  March,  when  they  were  or- 
dered into  the  trenches  in  front  of  Petersburg  to  relieve  Gen- 
eral iiushrod  Johnson's  Division,  which  was  to  occupy  an- 
other position. 

The  increasing  dispntj^orticm  in  the  numbers  of  the  oppos- 
ing armies  made  it  necessary  for  Rodes'  Division,  now  com- 
posed of  only  about  2,200  men,  to  cover  a  distance  of  about 
three  and  a  half  miles  in  the  trenches,  and  to  do  this  it  re- 
quired one-third  of  the  men  on  picket  duty  in  front  of  the 
trenches  and  one-third  on  duty  in  the  trenches,  where  the  mud 
Mas  frequently  more  than  shoe-deep  and  sometimes  knee-deep, 
Avhile  the  remaining  third  caught  a  broken  rest  on  their  arms. 
Xo  general  engagement  took  place  till  25  March,  but  at 
night  there  was  almost  constant  firing  between  the  pickets. 
At  most  points  the  main  lines  of  the  two  armies  were  within 
easy  rifle-range,  and  at  some  points  less  than  one  hundred 
yards  apart.  The  monotony  of  the  constant  cracking  of 
small  arms  was  frequently  relieved  by  the  firing  of  mortars 
and  the  dropping  of  shells  in  the  trenches,  calling  for  con- 
stant watchfulness  on  the  part  of  those  who  were  in  the 
trenches,  and  disturbing  the  broken  rest  of  the  small  remnant 
who  were  off  duty.  On  the  night  of  24  March,  General  Gor- 
don's Corps  was  massed  opposite  Hare's  Hill  with  a  view  to 
making  an  attack  at  that  point,  where  the  lines  were  within 
one  hundred  yards  of  each  other.  Entrance  into  the  enemy's 
works  was  effected  just  before  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the 

16  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

25tli  by  the  Division  Corps  of  sharpshooters,  who,  with  un- 
loaded muskets,  surprised  and  captured  the  enemy's  pickets 
and  entered  their  main  lines.  The  Forty-third  Regiment, 
with  the  other  troops  of  the  division  immediately  following, 
occupied  the  enemy's  works  for  some  distance  on  either  side 
of  Hare's  Hill,  and  stubbornly  held  them,  against  great  odds, 
for  about  five  hours.  During  most  of  this  time  the  enemy 
poured  a  deadly  fire  into  the  Confederates  from  several  bat- 
teries on  elevated  positions,  and,  having  massed  large  bodies 
of  infantry  at  this  point,  forced  the  withdrawal  of  the  Con- 
federates with  considerable  loss  in  killed,  wounded  and  pris- 
oners. After  this  fruitless  effort  to  dislodge  the  enemy  the 
Forty-third  resumed  its  position  in  the  trenches  and  remained 
until  Saturday,  1  April,  iibout  11  o'clock  on  the  night  of 
this  date  the  enemy  opened  a  furious  cannonading  all  along 
the  line.  Under  cover  of  this  firing  they  attacked  the  Con- 
federates in  heavy  force  at  several  points,  effecting  an  en- 
trance beyond  the  limits  of  the  division  on  the  right.  At 
daylight  on  Sunday  morning,  the  2d,  they  made  a  breach  in 
the  line  held  by  a  brigade  to  the  left  center  of  the  division, 
and  occupied  the  Confederate  works  for  some  distance  on 
either  side  of  Fort  Mahone,  wdiich  stood  on  an  elevation 
about  fifty  yards  in  front  of  the  main  line.  The  division, 
massing  in  this  direction,  attacked  the  enemy  at  close  quar- 
ters, driving  them  from  traverse  to  traverse,  sometimes  in  a 
hand-to-hand  fight,  till  the  lost  works  were  retaken  up  to  a 
point  opposite  Fort  Mahone,  which  was  still  occupied  by  the 
enemy.  Its  commanding  position  making  its  recapture  of 
importance  in  the  further  movements  of  the  Confederates, 
two  details  of  about  twelve  men  each,  in  charge  of  a  Ser- 
geant— one  from  the  Forty-third  (now  commanded  by  Cap- 
tain Cobb,  Captain  Whitaker  having  been  mortally  wounded 
just  previously),  and  the  other  from  the  Forty-fifth  Regi- 
ment of  the  brigade— were  ordered,  about  noon,  to  enter  the 
fort  by  the  covered  way  (a  large  ditch)  leading  from  the 
main  line  into  the  fort.  This  was  promptly  done,  and  the 
enemy  occupying  the  fort — more  than  one  hundred  in  num- 
ber— perhaps  in  ignorance  of  the  small  force  of  Confederates, 
and  surprised  at  the  boldness  of  the  movement,  surrendered 

Forty-Third  Regiment.  17 

and  were  sent  to  the  rear  as  prisoners.  From  this  position 
the  little  squad  of  about  twenty-five  men  poured  a  deadly 
fire  into  the  left  flank  and  rear  of  the  enemy  occupying  the 
Confederate  line  beyond  Fort  Mahone,  while  the  main  body 
of  the  division  pressed  them  in  front  till  they  were  dislodged 
and  retreated  to  their  own  lines,  thus  giving  up  the  entire 
works  taken  from  the  division  early  in  the  morning.  In  this 
affair  Sergeant  B.  F.  Hall  commanded  the  squad  from  the 
Forty-third.  A  brigade  of  Zouaves,  however,  promptly 
moved  forward,  meeting  the  retreating  force,  and  recaptured 
both  the  Confederate  line  and  Fort  Mahone,  leaving  Kodes' 
Division  still  in  possession  of  that  portion  of  the  line  retaken 
from  the  enemy  in  the  early  part  of  the  day,  and  which  was 
held  until  after  dark,  when  the  lines  in  front  of  Richmond 
and  Petersburg  were  abandoned.  The  army  then  commenced 
its  retreat.  Marching  day  and  night,  with  only  short  inter- 
vals of  rest,  Auielia  Court  House  was  reached  about  4 
April,  where  the  well-nigh  exhausted  troops  were  permitted 
to  rest  several  hours.  The  march  was  resumed  that  night, 
and,  being  closely  pursued  by  the  enemy.  General  Grimes 
(then  Major-General  commanding  the  division  to  which  the 
Forty-third  belonged)  was  assigned  to  the  position  of  rear 
guard,  ('olonel  1).  G.  Cowand,  of  the  Thirty-second,  being 
in  command  of  Daniel's  Brigade.  The  enemy's  cavalry,  em- 
boldened by  success,  frequently  rode  recklessly  into  the  Con- 
federate lines,  making  it  necessary  to  deploy  alternately  as  a 
line  of  battle  across  the  road  one  brigade  after  another,  while 
the  others  continued  the  march.  This  running  fight  culmi- 
nate<l  in  a  general  engagement  on  the  afternoon  of  the  6th 
at  Sailor's  creek,  near  Farmville,  Va.,  where  the  Confeder- 
ates, overwhelmed  by  superior  numbers,  retreated  beyond 
the  long  bridge  at  Farmville. 

On  the  morning  of  the  7th,  beyond  Farmville,  the  division 
charged  the  enemy  and  recaptured  a  battery  of  artillery 
which  had  previously  fallen  into  their  hands.  Continuing 
the  march  from  this  point,  there  was  no  further  fighting  on 
this  or  the  following  day,  the  Union  anny  having  taken  par- 

18  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

allel  roads  for  the  purpose  of  intercepting  the  Confederates  in 
their  march  towards  Lynchburg. 

The  vicinity  of  Appomattox  Court  House  was  reached  on 
the  evening  of  Saturday,  the  8th,  and  the  exhausted  troops 
bivouacked  until  midnight,  when  the  division  was  ordered 
from  the  position  of  rear  guard  to  the  front,  with  a  view  of 
opening  the  road  towards  Lynchburg,  now  occupied  by  Union 
troops  in  large  force.  About  sunrise  on  Sunday  morning, 
the  9th  of  April,  1865,  the  division  engaged  a  large  body  of 
the  enemy's  cavalry,  supported  by  infantry,  and  drove  them 
more  than  a  mile,  capturing  a  battery  of  artillery  and  several 
prisoners.  While  engaged  in  this  pursuit  they  were  ordered 
back  to  a  valley  in  which  the  larger  part  of  the  Confederates 
was  now  massed,  and  on  arriving  there  received  the  sad  intel- 
ligence that  the  Army  of  [NTorthern  Virginia  had  surrendered. 

Manifesting  under  defeat  the  same  spirit  of  fidelity  and 
endurance  which  had  characterized  them  in  success,  the  rem- 
nant of  about  120  men  and  officers  composing  this  regiment 
accepted  the  fate  of  war  and  awaited  the  final  arrangements 
for  capitulation ;  and  on  the  morning  of  12  April,  after  lay- 
ing down  their  arms,  dispersed  on  foot,  many  in  tattered  gar- 
ments and  without  shoes,  and  thus  made  their  way  to  their 
distant  and,  in  many  instances,  desolated  homes. 

And  "the  picture  of  the  private  soldier  as  he  stood  in  the 
iron  hail,  loading  and  firing  his  rifle,  the  bright  eye  glistening 
with  excitement,  and  with  powder-stained  face,  rent  jacket, 
torn  slouch  hat  and  trousers,  blanket  in  shreds,  and  the  prints 
of  his  shoeless  feet  in  the  dust  of  the  battle,  should  be  framed 
in  the  hearts  of  all  who  love  true  courage  wherever  found." 

The  preparation  of  this  sketch,  giving  the  organization  and 
outlining  the  movements  of  the  Forty-third  Eegiment,  is 
largely  due  to  the  assistance  rendered  to  me  by  W.  G.  Lewis, 
B.  F.  Hall,  W.  R.  Kenan,  John  B.  Powell,  W.  E.  Stitt,  W. 
B.  Burwell,  Thomas  P.  Devereux,  John  J.  Dabbs  and  S.  H. 
Threadgill,  members  of  the  regiment,  and  participants  in  its 
movements.  The  material  employed  was  gathered  from 
memoranda  and  such  official  documents  as  were  accessible. 

Thos.  S.  Kenan. 

Raleigh,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1895. 



a8t0r,  lenox  and 
TIlDen  foundations. 

J  w 



The  ''Duplin  Rifles"  (organized  at  Kenansville  in  1859) 
entered  the  army  in  April,  1861,  as  volunteers,  under  Thomas 
S.  Kenan,  Captain;  Thomas  S.  Watson,  First  Lieutenant; 
William  A.  Allen  and  John  W.  Hinson,  Second  Lieutenants ; 
and  was. immediately  ordered  into  the  Camp  of  Instruction  at 
Raleigh.  It  was  mustered  in  for  six  months  with  the  First 
Regiment  of  Volunteers,  and  assigned  to  it  under  Colonel 
D.  H.  Hill,  but  as  this  regiment  had  more  companies  than 
the  number  allowed  l)v  army  regulations,  the  "Duplin  Rifles" 
and  ''Lund)ert()n  Guards"  were  taken  out,  and  with  eight 
other  companies,  formed  the  Second  Volunteers  and  elected 
Sol.  Williams,  Colonel ;  Edward  Cantwell,  Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel, and  Augustus  W.  Burton,  ]\[ajor ;  the  "Duplin  Rifles" 
being  Company  C. 

The  regiment  was  ordered  to  Virginia  in  May,  1861,  (a 
few  days  after  the  First  Regiment)  and  served  in  and  around 
Norfolk,  without  special  incident,  except  at  Sewell's  Point, 
where  a  detachment  consisting  of  this  and  three  other  com- 
panies was  subjected  to  repeated  shellings  from  the  long- 
range  gims  of  the  L^nion  troops  stationed  at  the  "Rip-Raps." 
At  the  expiration  of  the  term  of  service  of  the  "Duplin 
Rifles"  and  "Lumberton  Guards"  they  were  mustered  out, 
and  the  regiment  supplied  mth  other  companies  in  their 
stead,  and  numbered  the  Twelfth  Regiment  of  State  Troops, 
after  the  re-organization. 

L'^pon  the  return  of  the  company  to  Duplin  coimty,  it  was 
reorganized  under  a  notice  dated  23  December,  1861,  for  the 
war,  by  electing  Thomas  S.  Kenan,  Captain;  James  G. 
Kenan.  First  Lieutenant ;  Robert  B.  Carr  and  John  W.  Hin- 
son, Second  Lieutenants;  ordered  to  Raleigh  in  March,  1862, 

20  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

and  assigned  to  the  Forty-third  Regiment  as  Company  A.  It 
therefore  belonged  to  three  different  regiments. 

Some  of  the  officers  and  men  of  the  company,  "C,"  organ- 
ized other  companies  in  Duplin  county  and  likewise  enlisted 
for  the  war. 

From  a  roster  kept  by  Sergeant  B.  F.  Hall,  it  appears  that 
there  were  fifty-six  on  the  roll  at  the  close  of  the  war,  thirty- 
five  of  whom  were  either  in  prison,  on  parole  or  detail,  and 
no  deserter  from  the  company  during  the  entire  war. 
Twenty-one  surrendered  w4th  the  Army  of  Northern  Vir- 
ginia at  Appomattox  on  9  April,  1865,  to-wit :  Thomas  J. 
Bostic,  William  R.  Kenan,  Benjamin  F.  Hall,  William  B. 
Blalock,  William  N.  Brinson,  James  D.  Brown,  LaFayette 
W.  BroAvn,  Alex.  Chambers,  Thomas  E.  Davis,  Lewis  J. 
Grady,  R.  M.  S.  Grady,  Alex.  Guy,  James  G.  Halso,  Jesse 
Home,  Hargett  Komegay,  Jere  J.  Pearsall,  Lewis  J.  Rich, 
Calvin  I.  Rogers,  John  E.  Smith,  Jere  Strickland,  Frank 
A.  Simmons. 

The  roster  also  shows  that  the  number  killed  was  25,  died 
of  disease,  22 ;  disabled  by  wounds,  10 ;  discharged  for  disa- 
bility, 12  ;  transferred  to  other  regiments,  or  companies,  5. 

Thos.  S.  Kenan. 

Raleigh,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 






1.  Taz  well  F.Hargrove, Lieut. -Colonel.    3.    R.  C.  Brown.  Captain,  Co.  B. 

2.  Elkanah  E.  Lyon,  Captain,  Co.  A.  4.    Robert  Bingham,  Captain,  Co.  G. 

5.    Thos.  Hill  Norwood,  Captain,  Co.  H. 


By  major  CHARLES   M.    STEDMAN. 

This  brief  record  of  the  organization,  movements  and 
achievements  of  the  Forty-fourth  Regiment,  North  Carolina 
Troops,  could  not  have  been  ^\'Titten  except  for  the  assistance 
of  Captains  W.  P.  Oldham,  Robert  Bingham,  Abram  Cox, 
and  Lieutenants  Thomas  B.  Long  and  Richard  G.  Sneed,  of- 
ficers of  the  regiment,  who  participated  in  its  career,  and 
especialh'  am  I  under  obligations  to  Captain  John  H.  Robin- 
son, of  the  Fiftj-seoond  North  Carolina  Regiment,  who  was 
detailed  during  the  latter  part  of  the  campaign  of  1864,  at 
the  request  of  General  William  ^lacRae,  to  serve  on  his  staff 
as  A.  A.  G.,  in  place  of  Captain  Louis  G.  Young,  who  had 
been  severely  wounded.  The  facts  stated  in  a  memorial  ad- 
dress delivered  by  tlie  writer  in  Wilmington,  N.  C,  on  10 
May,  1890,  on  the  lite  and  character  of  General  William 
MacRae,  in  so  far  as  they  are  connected  with  the  o])erations 
of  the  regiment,  and  its  participation  in  the  various  engage- 
ments described  lune  been  used  without  reserve,  as  they  are 
known  to  be  correct,  nor  has  there  been  any  hesitancy  in  quot- 
ing from  the  language  of  that  address,  when  appropriate  to  a 
description  of  events  constituting  alike  a  part  of  the  history 
of  the  regiment,  as  well  as  of  the  brigade. 

This  regiment  was  organized  at  Camp  Mangum,  near  Ral- 
eigh, N.  C,  on  28  March,  1862,  with  George  B.  Singletary 
as  its  Colonel,  Richard  C.  Cotten,  Captain  Company  E,  its 
Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  Elisha  Cromwell,  Captain  Company 
B,  as  its  Major.  Colonel  Singletary  was  killed  in  a  skir- 
mish with  Federal  troops  at  Tranter's  Creek,  in  Eastern 
North  Carolina,  on  5  June,  1862.  He  was  an  officer  of  ex- 
traordinary merit,  and  would  have  unquestionably  attained 
high  distinction  but  for  his  premature  death.  On  28  June, 
1862,  Thomas  C.  Singletary,  his  brother,  was  elected  Colonel 

22  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

in  his  stead.  Lieutenant-Colonel  Gotten  resigned,  on  ac 
count  of  advanced  age,  on  10  June,  1862,  and  Major  Elisha 
Cromwell  was  promoted  to  the  rank  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  to 
fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  his  resignation.  The  vacancy 
caused  by  the  promotion  of  Major  Elisha  Cromwell  was  filled 
by  the  election  of  Tazewell  L.  Hargrove,  Captain  of  Company 
A,  on  10  June,  1862.  On  24  July,  1862,  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Cromwell  resigned  and  Major  Tazewell  L.  Hargrove  was 
elected  in  his  place,  and  on  28  July,  1862,  Charles  M.  Sted- 
man.  Captain  Company  E,  was  promoted  and  elected  Major* 
The  Staff  and  Company  officers  are  named  as  they  appear  in 
the  following  list,  and  in  the  order  of  their  promotion: 

Adjutants^  Stark  Armistead  Sutton,  John  A.  Jackson, 
R.  W.  Dupree. 

Ensign,  W.  S.  Long. 

Sergeant-Majors^  John  H.  Johnston,  Alexander  S< 
Webb,  E.  D.  Covington. 

Quartermaster  Sergeant^  Isham  G.  Cheatham. 

Ordnance  Sergeant,  Robert  J.  Powell. 

Commissary  Sergeant^  D.  F.  Whitehead. 

Chaplains,  John  H.  Tillinghast,  Richard  G.  Webb. 

Surgeons,  William  T.  Sutton,  J.  A.  Bynum. 

Assistant  Surgeons,  J.  A.  Bynum,  William  J.  Green. 

Quartermasters,  William  R.  Beasley,  William  L* 

Commissary,  Abram  Cox. 

Company  A — Captains,  Tazewell  L.  Hargrove,  Elkanah 
E.  Lyon,  Robert  L.  Rice;  First  Lieutenants,  Elkanah  E. 
Lyon,  Robert  L.  Rice,  Richard  G.  Sneed,  A.  J.  Ellis ;  Second 
Lieutenants,  Robert  L.  Rice,  William  R.  Beasley,  John  B. 
Tucker,  Richard  G.  Sneed,  Robert.  Winship  Stedman.  En- 
listed men,  148. 

Company  B — Captains,  Elisha  Cromwell,  Baker  W.  Ma- 
bry,  Robert  C.  Brown ;  First  Lieutenants,  Baker  W.  Mabry, 
Robert  C.  Brown,  Thomas  M.  Carter;  Second  Lieutenants, 
Thomas  M.  Carter,  Robert  C.  Brown,  Charles  D.  Mabry, 
Elisha  C.  Knight.  *  Enlisted  men,  135. 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  23 

Company  C— Captains,  William  L.  Cherry,  Macon  G-. 
Cherry;  First  Lieutenants,  Abram  Cox,  Andrew  M.  Thig- 
pen,  Samuel  V.  Williams ;  Second  Lieutenants,  Andrew  M. 
Thig-pen,  Macon  G.  Cherry,  Samuel  V.  Williams,  Reuben  E. 
Mayo,  Samuel  Tapping.     Enlisted  men,  131. 

Company  D— Captain,  L.  R.  Anderson;  First  Lieuten- 
ants, Cornelius  Stevens,  John  S.  Easton ;  Second  Lieuten- 
ants, John  S.  Easton,  James  M.  Perkins,  George  W.  Parker, 
Thomas  King.    Enlisted  men,  116. 

Company  E— Captains,  R.  C.  Gotten,  Charles  M.  Sted- 
man,  James  T.  Phillips,  John  J.  Crump ;  First  Lieutenants, 
Charles  M.  Stedman,  James  T.  Phillips,  John  J.  Crump,  ^. 
B.  Hilliard;  Second  Lieutenants,  R.  C.  Cotten,  Jr.,  James 
T.  Phillips,  John  J.  Crump,  Thomas  B.  Long,  K.  B.  Hil- 
liard, C.  C.  Goldston,  S.  J.  Tally.     Enlisted  men,  183. 

By  reason  of  his  health.  Lieutenant  Thomas  B.  Long  re- 
signed in  July,  1862.  He  was  a  most  accomplished  officer; 
brave,  competent  and  true — he  was  respected  by  all. 

Company  F— Captains,  David  D.  DeBerry,  John  C. 
Gaines;  First  Lieutenants,  John  C.  Gaines,  John  C.  Mont- 
gomery ;  Second  Lieutenants,  John  C.  Montgomery,  Alexan- 
der M.  Russell,  George  W.  Montgomery.  Enlisted  men,  127. 
Company  G— Captain,  Robert  Bingham;  First  Lieuten- 
ant, S.  H.  Workman;  Second  Lieutenants,  George  S.  Cobb, 
James  W.  Compton,  Fred.  N.  Dick,  Thomas  H.  Norwood. 
Enlisted  men,  129. 

Company  H— Captains,  William  D.  :\[offitt,  James  T. 
Townsend,  R.  W.  Singletary ;  First  Lieutenants,  James  T. 
Townsend,  William  H.  Carter,  Thomas  H.  Norwood;  Second 
Lieutenants,  Daniel  L.  McMillan,  R.  W.  Singletary,  Moses 
Haywood,  E.  A.  Moffitt,  R.  W.  Dupree.  Enlisted  men,  141. 
Company  I — Captains,  Downing  H.  Smith,  John  R. 
Roach ;  First  Lieutenants,  J.  J.  Bland,  John  R.  Roach ;  Sec- 
ond Lieutenants,  John  R.  Roach,  John  A.  Jackson,  J.  M. 
Lancaster.     Enlisted  men,  120. 

Company  K— Captains,  Rhet.  R.  L.  Lawrence,  W.  P. 
Oldham ;  First  Lieutenants,  Joseph  W.  Howard,  W.  P.  Old- 
ham;     Second    Lieutenants,    David    Yarborough,    Bedford 

24  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

Brown,   J.   H.   Johnson,  A,    S.   Webb,   Joseph  J.   Leonard, 
Rufus  Starke.     Enlisted  men,  144. 

On  19  May,  1862,  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  Tarboro,  N. 
C,  thence  it  proceeded  to  Greenville,  jST.  C,  and  for  a  few 
weeks  was  engaged  in  outpost  and  picket  duty  in  that  section 
of  the  State  during  which  time  it  participated  in  no  affair  of 
consequence,  save  the  skirmish  at  Tranter's  Creek  which, 
though  otherwise  unimportant,  was  to  the  regiment  most  un- 
fortunate in  that  its  accomplished  commander  lost  his  life. 

From  Eastern  jSTorth  Carolina  the  regiment  was  ordered  to 
Virginia  and  there  assigned  to  the  Brigade  of  General  J. 
Johnston  Pettigrew,  one  of  the  very  ablest  commanders  of 
the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia.  Not  only  the  Forty-fourth 
Regiment,  but  the  entire  Brigade,  which  consisted  of  five 
regiments — the  Eleventh  North  Carolina,  the  Twenty-sixth 
N^orth  Carolina,  the  Forty-fourth  North  Carolina,  the  Forty- 
seventh  N^orth  Carolina,  and  the  Fifty-second  North  Caro- 
lina, felt  the  impress  of  his  soldierly  qualities.  It  was  ever 
a  matter  of  regret  to  the  officers  and  men  of  the  regiment  that 
no  opportunity  was  offered  them  of  manifesting  their  appre- 
ciation of  his  great  qualities  by  their  conduct  on  the  battle- 
ffeld  uudor  his  immediate  command.  The  other  regiments 
of  his  brigade  were  with  him  at  Gettysburg  and  contributed 
to  his  imperishable  renown  by  their  steadfast  valor,  but  the 
Forty-fourth  North  Carolina,  whilst  en  route,  was  halted  at 
Hanover  Junction,  Va.,  to  guard  the  railroad  connections 
there  centering,  and  thus  protect  General  Lee's  communica- 
tions with  Richmond.  Colonel  T.  C.  Singletarv  with  two 
companies,  remained  at  the  junction.  ]\[ajor  Charles  M. 
Stedman,  with  four  companies,  commanded  north  of  the 
junction  and  the  bridges  of  the  Fredericksburg  and  of  the 
Central  (now  the  (1  &  O.)  Railroad  across  the  South  Anna 
and  the  Little  Rivers,  four  in  numl)ei',  were  entnisted  to  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Hargrove,  who  posted  one  company  at  each 
bridge,  remaining  personally  with  C(UU])any  A  at  Central's 
bridge  across  the  South  Anna,  the  post  of  greatest  danger. 
On  the  morning  of  26  June,  1865,  the  Federal  troops,  con- 
sisting of  the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Cavalry,  two  compa- 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  25 

nies  of  a  California  cavalry  regiment,  and  two  pieces  of  ar- 
tillery, about  fifteen  hundred,  all  included,  commanded  by 
Colonel,  afterwards  General  Spear,  appeared  before  Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Hargrove,  and  his  small  force  of  forty  men,  sta- 
tioned in  a  breastwork  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  built  to 
be  manned  by  not  less  than  four  humlred  men.  Before  Col- 
onel Spear  made  his  first  attack,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Har- 
grove abandoning-  the  breastwork  as  being  entirely  untenable 
by  so  small  a  force,  fell  back  to  the  north  side  of  the  river, 
posted  his  men  under  cover  along  the  river  bank  and  for  two 
hours  successfully  resisted  repeated  efforts  to  capture  the 
bridge  by  direct  assault,  although  assailed  by  a  force  outnum- 
bering his  own  at  least  thirty-five  to  one.  Failing  in  a  direct 
attack,  Colonel  Spear  sent  four  hundred  men  across  the  river 
by  an  old  ford  under  cover  of  a  violent  assault  in  front  from 
the  south  and  was  about  to  assail  Lieutenant-Colonel  Har- 
grove in  his  rear,  which  was  entirely  unprotected,  when  Com- 
pany G,  consisting  of  -iO  men,  having  been  ordered  from  Cen- 
tral's bridge,  over  the  river  at  Taylorsville,  more  than  three 
miles  distant,  arrived  and  occupied  the  breastwork  north  of 
the  river  at  its  intersection  with  the  railroad,  and  about  two 
hundred  yards  from  the  bridge,  thus  protecting  the  rear  of 
Company  A.  Company  G  had  scarcely  got  into  position 
when  the  charge  of  four  hundred  cavalry,  intended  for  the 
unprotected  rear  of  Company  A,  was  delivered  against  Com- 
pany G,  protected  by  the  breastwork,  and  was  repulsed,  as 
were  two  other  charges  made  at  intervals  of  about  fifteen 
minutes,  while  attacks  were  made  simultaneously  on  Com- 
pany A  from  across  the  river  with  like  results.  During  a 
lull  in  the  fighting  the  Federal  force  on  the  north  side  was  re- 
inforced by  four  hundred  men,  and  an  assault  on  both  Com- 
panies A  and  G  was  (at  the  same  time)  ordered.  Colonel 
Spear  crossed  the  river  and  ordered  the  attack  made  up  the 
river  bank  against  Company  G's  unprotected  right,  and  Com- 
pany A's  unprotected  left  flank  at  the  abutment  of  the  bridge. 
The  enormous  odds  prevailed,  but  only  after  a  most  desperate 
and  hand-to-hand  conflict  with  pistol,  sabre  and  bayonet,  in 
which  Confederates  and  Federals  were  commingled.  In  the 
final  assault  Company  A  lost  half  of  its  men.     The  loss  of 

26  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

Company  G  was  not  heavy.  The  Federal  loss  exceeded  the 
entire  number  of  Confederate  troops  engaged.  Colonel 
Spear  retreated  after  burning  one  bridge  instead  of  four.  He 
stated  in  the  presence  of  his  own  command  and  that  of  Colo- 
nel Hargrove  that:  "The  resistance  made  by  the  Confed- 
erates was  the  most  stubborn  he  had  known  during  the  war; 
that  he  supposed  that  he  was  fighting  four  hundred  infantry 
instead  of  eighty,  and  that  his  expedition  had  entirely  failed 
of  its  object,  which  was  to  cut  General  Lee's  communica- 
tions with  Richmond."  No  more  gallant  fight  was  made  dur- 
ing the  entire  Civil  War,  than  by  Lieutenant-Colonel  Har- 
grove's command.  He  won  the  admiration  of  both  friend 
and  foe  by  his  personal  gallantry,  and  only  surrendered  when 
overpowered  and  taken  by  sheer  physical  force. 

General  Pettigrew  having  been  mortally  wounded  on  the 
retreat  from  Gettysburg,  Colonel  William  Kirkland,  of  the 
Twenty-first  N^orth  Carolina  Regiment,  was  promoted  to 
Brigadier-General  and  assigned  to  the  command  of  Petti- 
grew's  Brigade  about  10  August,  1863. 


The  brigade  left  camp  at  Rapidan  Station,  wliere  it  had 
been  in  cantonment,  on  8  October,  1863,  and  marched  rapidly 
with  a  view  of  engaging  General  Meade  at  Culpepper  Court 
House.  General  Meade  fell  back  and  avoided  a  conflict  at 
Culpepper  Court  House,  but  was  overtaken  at  Bristoe  Sta- 
tion. Here  on  14  October,  1863,  a  bloody  and  disastrous 
engagement  was  precipitated  between  Cooke's  and  Kirkland's 
Brigades,  and  the  bulk  of  Warren's  Corps,  supported  by  a 
powerful  artillery  with  a  railroad  embankment  as  a  fortifica- 
tion. In  this  fight,  so  inopportune  and  ill-advised  and  not 
at  all  in  accordance  with  the  views  of  General  Lee,  the  Forty- 
fourth  Regiment  greatly  distinguished  itself.  Advancing 
through  an  open  field  directly  upon  the  line  of  fire  of  the 
Federal  artillery,  it  sustained  a  heavy  loss  without  flinching. 
Three  different  couriers  rode  up  to  the  regiment  and  deliv- 
ered a  message  to  fall  back.  The  order  was  disregarded  and 
the  regiment  moved  steadily  on  under  heavy  fire  of  both  artil- 
lery and  infantry,  and  when  close  upon  the  works,  with  the 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  27 

shout  of  victory  in  the  air,  only  retreated  under  peremptory 
orders  from  Lieutenant-General  A.  P.  Hill.  The  loss  of  the 
regiment  in  this  engagement  in  killed  and  wounded  was 
large.  This  was  the  first  time  the  conduct  of  the  regiment 
fell  under  the  observation  of  Colonel  William  MacRae,  of 
the  Fifteenth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  and  after^vards  its 
brigade  commander.  He  w^as  struck  with  admiration  at 
the  splendid  conduct  of  the  men,  and  often  afterwards  re- 
ferred to  their  steady  valor  upon  that  field.  It  endeared 
the  regiment  to  liim,  for  he  loved  brave  men,  and  it  became 
his  habit  to  frequently  place  himself  with  the  colors  of  the 
regiment  for,  said  he:  'Tf  I  am  with  the  Forty-fourth  Reg- 
iment and  am  lost,  I  shall  always  be  found  to  the  fore-front 
of  the  fighting." 


General  Lee  having  received  information  that  General 
Grant  had  commenced  the  passage  of  the  Rapidan  on  the 
night  of  3  May,  1864,  broke  up  his  cantonments  on  the  4th 
and  prepared  to  meet  him.  The  Forty-fourth  ISTorth  Caro- 
lina, with  Kirkland's  Brigade,  left  camp  near  Orange  Court 
House  on  the  4th  and  bivouacked  the  same  night  at  Verdiers- 
ville,  about  nine  miles  from  the  battlefield  of  the  "Wilder- 
ness." Two  roads  led  in  parallel  lines  through  the  dense 
thickets  which  gave  its  name  to  the  territory  upon  which  the 
battle  was  fought.  One  was  known  as  the  Orange  Plank 
Road,  and  the  other  as  the  Turnpike.  The  Forty-fourth 
marched  by  way  of  the  Plank  Road  and  became  heavily  en- 
gaged about  2  o'clock  of  the  afternoon  of  the  5th.  The 
right  rested  immediately  upon  tlie  Plank  Road,  and  next  in 
line  to  it,  with  its  left  on  the  road,  was  the  Twenty-sixth 
North  Carolina  Regiment.  This  immediate  locality  was 
the  storni-eenter  of  the  fight,  and  it  is  doubtful  if  any  more 
violent  and  sanguinary  contest  occurred  during  the  entire 
Civil  War  than  just  here.  The  road  was  swept  by  an  inces- 
sant hurricane  of  fire,  and  to  attempt  to  cross  it  meant  almost 
certain  death.  At  this  point  of  the  line  three  pieces 
of  Confederate  artillery  were  seriously  menaced  with 
capture,  the  horses  belonging  to  the  guns  having  all  been 

28  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

killed  or  disabled,  whilst  the  gunners  were  subjected  to  an 
incessant  and  murderous  fire.  At  this  juncture  Lieuten- 
ant R.  W.  Stedman,  of  Company  A,  volunteered  to  drag 
the  guns  down  the  road  out  of  danger  if  a  detail  of  forty 
men  was  furnished.  Forty  men  immediately  stepped  to 
his  side  and  said  they  would  follow  him,  althovigh  they  all 
knew  the  effort  was  full  of  peril.  The  work  was  done  suc- 
cessfully, but  only  three  of  the  volunteers  escaped  unhurt. 
Lieutenant  Stedman  was  severely  wounded  by  a  grape  shot. 
For  his  personal  gallantry  in  this  action  he  was  honorably 
mentioned  in  high  terms  of  praise,  in  an  official  order  from 
division  headquarters.  The  loss  of  the  regiment  in  the  en- 
gagements of  the  5th  and  6th  was  exceedingly  heavy ;  a 
large  proportion  of  its  officers  were  killed  and  wounded; 
amongst  the  latter  the  Major  of  the  regiment.  Both  officers 
and  men  won  the  special  commendation  of  brigade  and  divis- 
ion commanders.  On  the  8th  the  regiment  moved  with  the 
brigade  towards  Spottsylvania  Court  House.  On  the  10th 
Heth's  and  Anderson's  Divisions,  commanded  by  Early,  had 
a  serious  conflict  with  a  portion  of  General  Grant's  army, 
which  was  attempting  to  flank  General  Lee  by  what  was  called 
the  Po  River  Road.  In  this  engagement  the  Forty-fourth, 
suffered  severely,  and  fought  with  its  accustomed  valor. 

Captain  J.  J.  Crump,  of  Company  E,  elicited  by  his  con- 
duct, warm  commendation  from  the  general  commanding. 


On  the  12th  the  regiment  was  assigned  its  position  directly 
in  front  of  Spottsylvania  Court  House,  and  was  in  support  of 
a  strong  force  of  Confederate  artillery.  Repeatedly  during 
the  day  it  was  charged  1)y  the  Federal  columns,  their  ad- 
vance always  being  heralded  and  covered  by  a  lieavy  artil- 
lery fire.  Every  assault  was  repulsed  with  gi'oat  loss  to  the 
assailants,  whose  advance  was  greeted  by  loud  cheers  from 
the  Forty-fourth  Regiment,  many  of  the  men  leaping  on  the 
eartliworks  and  fighting  without  covei-.  The  loss  during 
this  engagement  was  comparatively  slight.  The  ^lajor  com- 
mandinsi'  the  regiment  was  ao'ain  wounded  and  sent  to  a  hos- 


1.  R.  W.  Stedman,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  A.,    3.    John  Ruffin  Buchanan,  Sergeant,  Co. A. 

Famous  Scout.  4.    Joseph  M.  Satterwhite,  Private,  Co.  A. 

2.  E.  A.  Moffitt,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  H.  5.    James  Andrew  Wilson,  Private,  Co.  A. 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  29 

pital  in  Kichniond,  and  was  not  able  to  rejoin  his  regiment 
until  a  few  days  before  the  battle  at  Reams  Station. 

The  regiment  participated  in  all  the  engagements  in  which 
its  brigade  took  part  from  Spottsylvania  Conrt  Plouse  to  Pe- 
tersburg, constantly  skirmishing  and  fighting  as  Grant  con- 
tinued his  march  on  Lee's  flank.  On  3  June,  186-i,  it  was 
heavily  engaged  with  the  enemy  near  Gaines'  Mill.  In  this 
fight  General  W.  W.  Ivirkland,  commanding  the  brigade,  was 
wounded.  Pursuing  its  march,  and  almost  daily  skirmish- 
ing, the  regiment  reached  Petersburg  on  24  June,  18()4-,  and 
commenced  the  desultory  and  dreary  work  of  duty  in  the 
trenches.  During  the  latter  part  of  July,  1864,  the  regi- 
ment left  Petersburg  for  Stoney  Creek,  and  whilst  on  the 
march  Colonel  William  MacRae,  of  the  Fifteenth  North 
Carolina  Regiment,  joined  the  brigade  and  assumed  com- 
mand under  orders.  This  gallant  officer  was  promoted  to 
the  rank  of  Brigadier-General  in  I^ovember,  1864,  and  from 
that  time  never  left  the  brigade,  of  which  the  Forty-fourth 
was  a  part,  until  the  last  day  at  Appomattox.  From  Stoney 
Creek  the  regiment  returned  to  Petersburg. 


The  regiment  bore  its  part  with  conspicuous  good  conduct 
in  the  brilliant  engagement  at  Reams  Station  on  25  August, 

Upon  the  investment  of  Petersburg  the  possession  of  the 
Weldon  road  became  of  manifest  importance,  as  it  was  Lee's 
main  line  of  comnumication  with  the  South,  whence  he  drew 
his  men  and  supplies.  On  18  August,  1864,  General  G.  K. 
Warren,  with  the  Fifth  Corps  of  Grant's  anuy,  and  Kautz's 
Division  of  cavalry,  occupied  the  line  of  the  Weldon  road  at 
a  point  six  miles  from  Petersburg.  An  attempt  was  made  to 
dislodge  them  from  this  position  on  the  21st,  but  the  effort 
failed.  Emboldened  by  Wan-en's  success,  Hancock  was  or- 
dered from  Deep  Bottom  to  Reams  Station,  ten  miles  from 
Petersburg.  He  arrived  there  on  the  2 2d  and  promptly 
commenced  the  destruction  of  the  railroad  track.  His  in- 
fantry force  consisted  of  Gibbons'  and  Miles'  Divisions,  and 
in  the  afternoon  of  the  25th,  he  w^as  reinforced  by  the  divis- 

30  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

ion  of  Orlando  B.  Wilcox,  which,  however,  arrived  too  late  to 
be  of  any  substantial  service  to  him.  Gregg's  division  of 
cavalry,  with  an  additional  brigade  commanded  by  Spear, 
was  with  him.  He  had  abundant  artillery,  consisting  in  part 
of  the  Tenth  Massachusetts  battery.  Battery  B  First  Rhode 
Island,  McNight's  Twelfth  New  York  Battery,  and  Woer- 
ner's  Third  New  Jersey  Battery.  On  the  2 2d  Gregg  was  as- 
sailed by  Wade  Hampton  with  one  of  his  cavalry  divisions, 
and  a  sharp  contest  ensued.  General  Hampton,  from  the 
battlefield  of  the  2 2d,  sent  a  note  to  General  R.  E.  Lee,  sug- 
gesting an  immediate  attack  with  infantry.  That  great 
commander,  realizing  that  a  favorable  opportunity  was  of- 
fered to  strike  Hancock  a  heavy  blow,  directed  Lieutenant- 
Gen  eral  A.  P.  Hill  to  advance  against  him  as  promptly  as 
possible.  General  Hill  left  his  camp  near  Petersburg  on 
the  night  of  the  24th,  and  marching  south,  halted  near  Arm- 
strong's Mill,  about  eight  miles  from  Petersburg.  On  the 
morning  of  the  25tli  he  advanced  to  Monk's  Neck  Bridge, 
three  miles  from  Reams  Station,  and  awaited  advices  from 
Hampton.  The  Confederate  force  actually  present  at  Reams 
Station,  consisted  of  Cooke's  and  MacRae's  Brigades  of 
Heth's  Division,  Lane's,  Scales'  and  McGow^an's  Brigades  of 
Wilcox's  Division,  Anderson's  brigade  of  Longstreet's  Corps, 
two  brigades  of  Mahone's  Division,  Butler's  and  W.  H.  F. 
Lee's  Divisions  of  cavalry,  and  a  portion  of  Pegram's  Battal- 
ion of  artillery. 

Being  the  central  regiment  of  the  brigade,  MacRae's  line 
of  battle  was  formed  on  it  as  was  customary.  Just  previous 
to  the  assault  upon  General  Hancock's  command,  the  regi- 
ment was  posted  in  the  edge  of  a  pine  thicket,  about  three 
hundred  yards  from  the  breastworks  held  by  the  Federal 
troops.  When  the  order  was  given  to  advance,  the  men  threw 
themselves  forward  at  a  double-quick  in  a  line  as  straight  and 
unbroken  as  they  presented  when  on  parade,  and  without 
firing  a  gun,  mounted  the  entrenchments  and  precipitated 
themselves  amongst  the  Federal  infantry  on  the  other  side, 
who  seemed  to  be  dazed  by  the  vehemence  of  the  attack,  and 
made  a  very  feeble  resistance  after  their  ranks  were  reached. 

A  battery  of  artillery,  captured    by    the    regiment,    was 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  31 

turned  upon  the  retreating  columns  of  the  enemj.  It  was 
manned  by  sharpshooters  of  the  Forty-fourth,  who  had  been 
trained  in  artillery  practice.  Captain  Oldham,  of  Com- 
pany K,  sighted  one  of  the  gims  repeatedly,  and  when  he  saw 
the  effect  of  his  accurate  aim  upon  the  disarmed  masses  in 
front,  was  so  jubilant  that  General  MacRae  with  his  usual 
quiet  humor  remarked:  "Oldham  thinks  he  is  at  a  ball  in 

The  Federal  loss  in  this  battle  was  between  six  and  seven 
hundred  killed  and  woimded,  and  2,150  prisoners,  3,100 
stand  of  small  arms,  twelve  stand  of  colors,  nine  guns  and 
caissons.  The  Confederate  loss  was  small,  and  fell  princi- 
pally upon  Lane's  Brigade ;  it  did  not  exceed  five  hvmdred  in 
killed  and  wounded.  The  casualties  in  the  Forty-fourth 
Regiment  were  trifling,  as  well  as  in  other  regiments  of  the 
brio'ade,  for  Hancock's  men  in  our  front  fired  wildlv  and  above 
the  mark,  being  badly  demoralized  by  the  fire  of  the  Confeder- 
ate artillery,  under  cover  of  Avhich  MacRae's  men  advanced 
to  the  assault. 

James  Forrest,  who  carried  the  colors  of  the  regiment,  be- 
came famous  for  his  chivalrous  devotion  to  the  flag,  and  his 
gallantry  on  every  field. 

On  the  night  of  25  August,  1864,  the  regiment  returned 
with  MacRae's  Brigade  to  its  position  on  the  line  of  entrench- 
ments at  Petersburg,  held  by  General  Lee's  right,  and  contin- 
ued to  perform  the  routine  of  duties  incident  to  such  a  life 
until  27  October,  1864. 


The  enemy  having  forced  back  our  cavalry,  and  penetrated 
to  a  point  on  our  right  known  as  Burgess'  Mill,  on  27  Octo- 
ber, 1864,  General  MacRae  was  ordered  to  attack  with  the 
understanding  that  he  should  be  promptly  reinforced  by 
one  or  more  brigades.  Reconnoitering  the  enemy's  position, 
he  pointed  out  at  once  the  weak  part  of  their  line  to  several 
officers  who  were  with  him,  and  ordered  his  brigade  to  the 
assault.  It  bore  down  everything  in  its  front,  capturing  a 
battery  of  artillery,  and  dividing  the  corps  which  it  had  as- 
sailed.    The  Federal  commander,  seeing  that  MacRae  was 

32  North  Carolina  Troops.   ISOl-'Go. 

not  supported,  closed  in  upon  his  flanks  and  attacked  with 
gi'eat  vig<)r.  Undismayed  by  the  large  force  which  sur- 
rounded him,  and  unwilling  to  surrender  the  prize  of  victory 
already  within  his  grasp,  MacRae  formed  a  portion  of  his 
command  (ibli(|uely  to  his  main  line  of  battle,  driving  back 
the  foe  at  every  point,  whilst  the  deafening  shouts  and  obsti- 
nate fighting  of  his  brigade  showed  their  entire  confidence  in 
their  commander,  although  every  man  of  them  knew  their 
situation  to  be  critical,  and  their  loss  had  already  been  great. 
Awaiting  reinforcements,  which  long  since  ought  to  have 
been  with  him,  he  held  his  vantage  ground  at  all  hazards,  and 
against  enormous  odds.  jSTo  help  came  whilst  his  men  toiled, 
bled  and  died.  Approaching  night  told  him  that  the  safety 
of  his  brigade  demanded  that  he  return  to  his  original  posi- 
tion. Facing  his  men  about,  they  cut  their  Avay  through  a 
new^  line  of  battle  wdiich  had  partially  formed  in  their  rear. 
In  this  encounter  the  Forty-fourth  Xorth  Carolina  bore  a 
brilliant  part ;  it  drove  the  Federal  line,  everyA\'her(^  in  its 
front,  steadily  to  the  rear.  Lieutenant  R.  W.  Stcduuni,  of 
Company  A,  with  less  than  fifty  men,  charged  and  captured 
a  battery  of  artillery  which  was  supported  by  a  considerable 
force  of  infantry.  This  battery  was  disabled  and  left,  as  it 
was  impossible  to  bring  it  off  the  field  when  the  regiment  was 
ordered  to  return  to  the  position  it  occupied  at  the  commence- 
ment of  the  fight.  The  affair  at  Burgess'  Mill  was  uiarred 
by  the  misunderstanding  of  his  orders  by  an  officer  of  high 
rank,  by  which  he  failed  to  reinforce  General  MacRae,  as 
instructed,  causing  a  heavy  loss  to  his  brigade. 

From  Burgess'  Mill  the  regiment  again  returned  to  its  old 
position  in  the  entrenchments  at  Petersburg.  On  2  April, 
1865,  the  Confederate  lines  having  been  pierced  and  broken 
through,  the  regiment,  under  orders,  commenced  its  retreat 
towards  Amelia  Court  House,  which  place  it  reached  on  4 
April.  Its  line  of  march  was  marked  by  constant  and  bloody 
engagements  with  the  Federal  troops,  who  followed  in  close 
pursuit,  but  wlio  were  entirely  unable  to  produce  the  slight- 
est demoralization  or  panic.  At  Southerland's  Station  the 
fight  w^as  severe.  On  the  night  of  tlie  5th  it  left  Amelia 
Court  House  and  reached  Appomattox  on  the  morning  of  the 

Forty-Fourth  Regiment.  33 

9th,  where,  together  Avith  the  bleeding  remnants  of  the  army 
of  l^orthern  Virginia,  it  stacked  its  arms  and  its  career  was 

The  esprit  de  corps  of  the  regiment  was  of  the  very  highest 
order.  Xeither  disease,  famine,  nor  scenes  of  horror  well 
calculated  to  freeze  the  hearts  of  the  bravest,  ever  conquered 
its  iron  spirit.  The  small  remnant  who  survived  the  trials 
of  the  retreat  from  Petersburg,  and  who  left  a  trail  of  blood 
along  their  weary  march  from  its  abandoned  trenches  to  Ap- 
pomattox Court  House,  were  as  eager  and  ready  for  the  fray 
on  that  last  memorable  day,  as  when,  with  full  ranks  and 
abiuidant  support,  they  drove  the  Federal  troops  before  them 
in  headlong  flight  on  other  fields.  This  spirit  especially 
manifested  itself  in  the  love  of  the  regiment  for  its  flag, 
which  was  guarded  by  all  its  mend^ers  with  chivalrous  devo- 
tion, and  which  was  never  lost  or  captured  on  any  field.  The 
first  flag  was  carried  from  the  commencement  of  its  cam- 
paign until  about  1  Januaiy,  1865,  when  a  new  one  was 
presented  in  its  stead,  for  the  reason  that  so  much  of  the  old 
flag  had  been  shot  away  that  it  could  not  Ix^  distinctly  seen  by 
other  regiments  during  brigade  drills,  and  as  the  Forty-fourth 
was  always  made  the  central  regiment,  upon  which  the  oth- 
ers of  the  brigade  dressed  in  line  of  battle,  as  well  as  on  pa- 
rade, a  new  flag  had  become  a  necessity. 

The  new  battle  flag  was  carried  by  Color-Sergeant  George 
Barbee,  of  Company  G,  until  the  night  of  1  April,  1865, 
when  crossing  the  Appomattox,  he  wrapped  a  stone  in  it  and 
dropped  it  in  the  river,  saying  to  his  comrades  about  him : 
''No  enemy  can  ever  have  a  flag  of  the  Forty-fourth  ISTorth 
Carolina  Regiment."  The  wonderful  power  which  the  high 
order  of  esprit  de  corps  exerted  for  good  amongst  the  officers 
and  men,  is  illustrated  by  an  incident  which  is  worthy  to  be 
recorded  amidst  the  feats  of  heroes. 

A  private  by  the  name  of  Tilman,  in  the  regiment,  had  on 
several  occasions  attracted  General  MacRae's  favorable  at- 
tention and,  at  his  request,  was  attached  to  the  color-guard. 
Tilman's  name  was  also  honorably  mentioned  in  the  orders 
of  the  day  from  brigade  headquarters. 

34  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

Soon  thereafter,  in  front  of  Petersburg,  the  regiment  be- 
came severely  engaged  with  the  enemy  and  suffered  heavy 
loss.  The  flag  several  times  fell,  as  its  bearers  were  shot 
down  in  quick  succession.  Tilman  seized  it  and  again  car- 
ried it  to  the  front.  It  was  but  an  instant  and  he,  too,  fell. 
As  one  of  his  comrades  stooped  to  raise  the  flag  again,  the 
dying  soldier  touched  him,  and  in  tones  made  weak  by  the 
approach  of  death,  said:  "Tell  the  General  I  died  with  the 
flag."  The  tender  memories  and  happy  associations  connected 
with  his  boyhood's  home  faded  from  his  vision  as  he  rejoiced 
in  the  consciousness  that  he  had  proved  himself  worthy  of 
the  trust  which  had  been  confided  to  him. 

The  old  battle  flag  of  the  regiment  tattered  and  torn  by  ball 
and  shell,  its  staff  riddled,  and  its  folds  in  shreds,  was  pre- 
sented to  Mrs.  Delia  Worth  Bingham,  wife  of  Captain  Robert 
Bingham,  Company  G,  by  the  Major  commanding,  as  a 
mark  of  respect  and  esteem  in  behalf  of  officers  and  men  to  a 
woman  who  had  won  their  affectionate  regard,  and  whose  hus- 
band had  ever  followed  it  with  fidelity  and  fortitude  upon 
every  field  where  it  waved.  Captain  Bingham,  whose  home 
is  in  Asheville,  1^.  C,  still  has  it  in  his  possession. 

Its  folds  shall  become  mouldy  with  the  lapse  of  years.  The 
time  will  come  when  the  Civil  War  shall  only  be  remembered 
as  a  shadow  of  days  long  passed,  but  the  memories  of  the 
great  deeds  of  the  sons  of  Carolina  who  followed  that  flag, 
and  who  sleep  in  unknown  graves  upon  the  fields  of  Northern 
Virginia,  shall  survive  unshaken  amidst  the  ruins  of  time. 

Chas.  M.  Stedman. 
Greensboro,  N.  C, 

April  9,  1901. 



1.  Junius  Daniel,  Colonel.  5.    Andrew  J.  Boyd,  Lieut.-Colonel. 

2.  John  R.  Winston,  Colonel.  6.    Thomas  M.  Smith,  Major. 

8.    J.  Henry  Morehead,  Colonel.  7.    Samuel  C.  Rankin,  Captain,  Co.  K. 

4.    Samuel  Hill  Boyd,  Colonel.  8.    J".  A.  Roach,  Sergeant,  Co.  E. 

9.     C.  B.  Watson,  Sergeant,  Co.  K. 


j3y  CYRUS  B.  WATSON,  Second  Sergeant,  Company  K. 


The  Forty-fifth  Regiment  was  organized  at  Camp  Man- 
gum,  Raleigh,  'N.  C,  in  the  early  spring  of  1862,  with: 

Junius  Daniel,  Colonel,  of  Halifax  County. 

Jno.  Henky  Mokehead^  Lieutenant-Colonel,  of  Greens- 
boro, IT.  C. 

Andrew  J.  Boyd,  Major,  of  Rockingham. 
W.  M.  Hammond,  Adjutant,  of  Anson. 
Pryor  Reynolds,  A.  Q.  M.,  Rockingham. 
Dr.  Wm.  J.  Courts,  Surgeon,  of  Rockingham. 
Jno.  R.  Raine,  Assistant  Surgeon,  of  Rockingham. 
Rev.  E.  H.  Harding,  Chaplain,  of  Caswell  County. 

The  regiment  contained  ten  companies,  six  of  which  were 
organized  in  Rockingham  County,  one  in  Caswell,  two  in 
Guilford  and  one  in  Forsyth.  These  companies  were  en- 
listed and  organized  for  three  years'  service.  i\.t  the  time 
of  their  organization,  the  war  was  on  in  dead  earnest.  The 
first  battle  of  Manassas  had  been  fought  and  won ;  the  battles 
of  Forts  Henry  and  Donelson  had  been  fought  and  lost,  and 
the  capital  of  one  of  the  States  of  the  Confederacy  was  in 
the  hands  of  the  enemy.  The  State  of  ISTorth  Carolina  had 
been  invaded ;  Fort  Macon  had  been  captured,  and  the  city 
of  New  Bern  was  occupied  by  the  Federal  forces.  The  au- 
thorities at  Washington  were  putting  forth  tremendous  en- 
ergies in  organizing  and  equipping  great  armies  for  the  sub- 
jugation of  the  seceding  States.  The  Confederate  Govern- 
ment at  Richmond,  to  meet  these  mighty  preparations,  had 
called  upon  the  States  of  the  South  for  more  troops. 

Thes^  ten  companies  were  raised  and  commanded  by  such 

36  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

men  as  Dr.  Jno.  W.  May,  of  Rockingham  County,  then 
nearly  50  years  of  age,  Captain  of  Company  A. 

Chas.  E.  Shober,  of  Greensboro,  Captain  of  Company  B, 
himself  fit  to  command  a  regiment. 

Jas.  T.  Morehead,  Jr.,  of  Greensboro,  Captain  of  Com- 
pany C,  afterwards  the  splendid  commander  of  the  Fifty- 
third  Regiment. 

Jno.  L.  Scales,  of  Rockingham,  Captain  of  Company  D, 
a  man  of  sterling  worth  and  splendid  ability. 

Samuel  H.  Boyd,  of  Rockingham,  Captain  of  Company  E, 
afterwards  Colonel  of  the  regiment  and  a  most  gallant  man. 

Jno.  R.  Winston,  of  Rockingham,  Captain  of  Company  F, 
a  man  who  afterw-ards  won  great  distinction  as  commander  of 
the  regiment. 

Jno.  H.  Dillard,  of  Rockingham,  Captain  of  Company  G, 
who  afterwards  filled  with  distinction  a  position  upon  the 
Supreme  Court  bench  of  the  State,  and  w^hose  qualities  of 
head  and  heart  fitted  him  for  any  position  he  might  be  called 
upon  to  fill. 

Dr.  Wm.  J.  Courts,  of  Rockingham,  Captain  of  (^ompany 
H.,  afterwards  Surgeon  of  the  Regiment. 

Thomas  McGehee  Smith,  of  Caswell,  Captain  of  Company 
I,  a  most  lovable  man,  afterwards  promoted  to  Major  and 
killed  while  commanding  the  regiment. 

Dr.  J.  M.  Hines,  of  Forsyth,  Captain  of  Company  K, 
whose  manly  qualities  and  unifomi  kindness  to  the  boy  sol- 
dier, the  writer  of  this  sketch,  who  served  under  him,  will  al- 
ways be  held  in  the  fondest  remembrance. 

Junius  Daniel,  the  first  Colonel  of  the  Regiment,  was  an 
ofiicer  in  the  old  army  and  a  gi\aduate  of  West  Point.  He 
was  transferred  from  the  command  of  the  Fourteenth  Regi- 
ment to  the  Forty-fifth  Regiment,  of  which  he  w-as  elected 
Colonel  upon  its  organization.  He  was  promoted  to  Briga- 
dier-General in  September,  1862,  and  commanded  Daniel's 
Brigade  with  conspicuous  ability  from  its  organization  in  the 
spring  of  1862,  until  killed  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House  on 
12  May,  1864.  On  his  promotion^  Lieutenant-Colonel  J. 
Henry  Morehead,  of  Greensboro,  was  made  Colonel  of  the 
regiment.     He  was  a  fine  disciplinarian  and  did  much  before 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  37 

his  untimely  death  in  1863  in  qualifying  the  regiment  for 
the  ordeals  through  which  it  had  to  pass  along  its  subsequent 
march  to  imperishable  renown.  After  the  death  of  Colonel 
Morehead,  Samuel  H.  Boyd  became  Colonel  of  the  regiment. 
He  was  wounded  at  Gettysburg  and  left  on  the  field  a  pris- 
oner, and  remained  a  prisoner  of  war  until  exchanged  in 
May,  1864.  He  then  returned  to  the  army  and  took  com- 
mand of  the  regiment  on  17  May,  at  Spottsylvania ;  was 
killed  two  days  thereafter  while  gallantly  leading  his  regi- 
ment in  a  charge  upon  the  enemy's  line.  A  few  moments  be- 
fore the  charge,  in  which  he  lost  his  life,  he  received  a  gun- 
shot wound  in  the  arm.  He  had  his  arm  bandaged  with  his 
handkerchief  to  stop  the  flow  of  blood,  refused  to  leave  the 
field,  and  was  killed  as  above  stated. 

He  wore  a  bright,  new  uniform  in  this  battle,  was  about  six 
feet  four  inches  tall,  which  made  him  a  shining  mark  for  the 
enemy's  riflemen.  After  his  death  John  R.  Winston  became 
Colonel  of  the  regiment.  Mature  had  fashioned  him  for  a 
soldier.  He  was  a  man  of  deep  piety,  of  stem  integrity  and 
the  coolest  courage  in  battle.  He  was  often  wounded,  but 
rarely  left  the  field  because  of  wounds.  Was  wounded  and 
captured  at  Gettysbui'g  in  July,  1863,  carried  to  Johnson's 
Island  as  a  prisoner  of  war,  escaped  from  the  island  on  a  cold 
night  in  January,  1864,  walked  across  the  lake  on  the  ice  to 
the  Canadian  shore,  went  from  Canada  to  ISTassau,  from  there 
he  reached  a  Confederate  port  by  running  the  blockade,  and 
returned  to  the  regiment  in  time  for  the  campaign  of  1864. 
He  led  the  regiment  through  all  the  battles  of  the  Wilder- 
ness, Spotts^dvania  and  Cold  Harbor ;  was  then  transferred 
to  General  Early's  command  in  the  Valley,  advanced  with 
that  command  upon  Washington,  carried  his  regiment  in 
sight  of  the  Capitol,  fought  his  regiment  at  the  battle  of  Win- 
chester, Fisher's  Hill  and  Cedar  Creek,  and  in  the  last  two 
engagements,  held  the  regiment  in  line  until  most  of  Early's 
command  had  left  the  field.  After  the  Valley  campaign  wa.s 
over,  he  joined  the  army  of  General  Lee  at  Petersburg,  where 
he  remained  during  the  winter  of  1864  and  1865,  marched 
and  fought  to  Appomattox  Court  House  where  he  surren- 
dered with  the  army  of  his  great  Chieftain. 

38  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'05. 

Thomas  McGehee  Smith,  Major  of  the  regiment,  was  a 
splendid  officer,  beloved  by  the  men  of  the  regiment,  and  was 
killed  in  one  of  the  battles  near  Richmond  which  followed 
the  Spottsjlvania  campaign  of  1864. 

I  have  given  this  sketch  of  the  field  officers  of  the  regiment 
who  served  for  any  length  of  time  with  the  regiment.  Majo]* 
Andrew  J.  Bojd,  a  brother  of  Colonel  Samuel  H.  Boyd,  was 
promoted  from  Captain  of  Company  L,  of  the  Twenty-first 
Regiment,  but  did  not  long  remain  with  the  regiment.  Chas. 
E.  Shober  was  promoted  from  Captain  of  Company  B,  but  re- 
mained Major  of  the  regiment  only  a  short  time  until  he  be-' 
came  Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the  Second  North  Carolina  Bat-" 

In  approaching  the  difficult  task  assigned  me  of  writing  a 
true  historical  sketch  of  the  Forty-fifth  Regiment  in  this,  the 
year  1900,  thirty-five  years  after  the  regiment  laid  down  its 
arms  at  Appomattox  Court  House,  I  find  myself  involved  in 
gi'eat  difficulties.  Very  few  of  the  officers  of  the  regiment 
are  living.  In  looking  over  the  Roster  of  the  non-commis- 
sioned officers  of  the  various  companies,  I  find  that  they,  too, 
have  nearly  all  passed  away.  Among  the  surviving  private 
soldiers  of  the  various  companies,  there  are  very  few,  whose 
whereabouts  I  can  ascertain.  I  have  little  left  but  personal 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  men  who  composed  this  regiment 
were  drawn  from  four  contiguous  counties,  Forsyth,  Guil-' 
ford,  Rockingham  and  Caswell.  The  officers  who  organized, 
disciplined  and  prepared  them  for  war  were  such  as  would 
have  made  a  good  regiment  out  of  almost  any  material.  But 
the  men  themselves,  in  the  main,  would  have  made  good  sol- 
diers under  almost  any  circumstances.  The  rank  and  file  of 
the  regiment  was  composed  of  men  from  tlie  farm,  from  the 
shop,  from  the  school  room,  from  the  office,  from  mercantile 
pursuits,  in  fact  from  all  the  Avalks  of  life.  Many  of  thera 
were  without  property,  some  of  them  the  sons  of  the  wealthy, 
but  most  of  them  from  the  middle  classes.  I  knew  one  young 
private  who  was  the  owner  of  many  slaves  in  his  own  right. 

From  the  organization  of  the  regiment  in  the  early  spring 
of  1862  until  the  beginning  of  the  seven  days'  fight  beloW 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  39 

Richmond,  the  men  were  drilled  almost  incessantly.  They 
were  upon  the  drill  ground  upon  an  average  from  six  to 
eight  hours  each  day.  When  the  first  battle  opened  at  Me- 
chanicsville,  Daniel's  Brigade  was  in  camp  near  Petersburg. 
We  immediately  struck  tents  and  started  for  the  field ;  crossed 
the  James  on  a  pontoon  bridge  above  Drewry's  Bluff,  and  be^ 
came  a  part  of  the  division  of  General  Holmes.  The  brigade 
did  not  encounter  the  enemy  until  late  in  the  evening  of  30 
June.  We  marched  down  the  river  in  almost  blinding  dust 
until  we  reached  a  point  between  McClellan's  army,  then  en- 
gaged in  the  battle  of  Frazier's  Farm,  and  the  river. 

The  brigade  was  halted  and  the  command  was  given  for  the 
first  time  to  load  Avith  cartridges.  A  few  stray  balls  of  the 
enemy  were  falling  around  the  regiment.  While  the  regi- 
ment was  loading  its  guns,  a  field  battery  opened  fire  directly 
enfilading  the  line.  At  the  same  time  a  squadron  of  Confed- 
erate cavalry  stampeded  up  the  road,  threatening  to  trample 
us  under  the  feet  of  their  horses.  Just  at  this  moment,  two 
gunboats,  the  Galena  and  another  on  the  river  directly  behind 
the  line,  opened  fire  with  160  pounders.  This  was,  what  has 
always  seemed  to  me,  a  poor  way  to  break  in  a  raw  regiment. 
The  regiment  thought  so,  and  eight  companies  immediately 
broke  to  the  woods  and  "Stood  not  upon  the  order  of  their 
going."  Two  companies,  commanded  by  Captain  May  and 
Captain  Jno.  H.  Dillard,  rapidly  disappeared  up  the  lane. 
Just  as  these  eight  companies  climbed  out  of  the  road,  which 
was  lower  than  the  land  on  the  sides.  Private  Harrison  Green, 
of  Company  K,  was  killed  by  a  shell  from  one  of  the  gunboats 
and  fell  by  the  writer's  side.  Private  Jesse  Sapp,  of  Com- 
pany K,  was  run  over  and  permanently  disabled  by  the  horse 
of  a  frightened  cavalryman.  The  eight  companies  did  not  go 
far  until  they  recovered  from  their  fright,  formed  on  the  flag 
and  quietly  marched  back  to  a  position  near  the  point  where 
they  had  left  the  road,  each  man  with  his  mouth  full  of  ex- 
cuses for  having  lost  his  head.  Just  at  this  time  the  two  com- 
panies, commanded  by  Captains  May  and  Dillard,  came 
marching  down  the  lane  with  their  two  captains  in 
front  and  marched  up  to  Colonel  Daniel.  Captain  May 
saluted  the  Colonel  and  said  that  Companies  A  and  G  had 

40  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

misunderstood  the  order  and  had  marched  up  the  lane.  Colo- 
nel Daniel  replied,  with  a  smile  on  his  face:  "Yes,  Captain, 
I  saw  the  companies  march  \jp  the  lane  at  a  very  rapid  gait, 
and,  if  I  am  not  mistaken,  their  two  Captains  were  making 
good  time,  and  in  front,"  which  created  a  langh  all  tlirough 
the  regiment,  the  two  Captains  joining  in  the  fun.  By  a  mis- 
take of  some  one,  our  division  that  evening  was  not  permitted 
to  engage  in  the  battle  of  Frazier's  Farm,  although  it  reached 
a  point  immediately  upon  tlie  enemy's  flank  in  time  to  have 
done  effective  service.  The  next  day  the  sanguinary  conflict 
of  Malvern  Ilill  raged  until  after  dark,  with  our  division 
again  on  the  enemy's  flank  and  under  the  enemy's  fire  with- 
out taking  any  active  part  in  that  engagement,  except  to 
endure  the  shelling  from  the  enemy's  guns.  It  was  not 
the  fault  of  "the  men  behind  the  guns."  Daniel's  Brigade, 
after  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill,  returned  to  its  camp  near 
Petersburg.  It  remained  near  Petersburg  until  the  army 
started  on  its  march  to  ^laryland.  We  were  ordered  to 
Richmond  and  remained  in  the  city  one  day,  awaiting  trans- 
portation to  Culpepper.  The  enemy  made  a  demonstration 
on  Drewry's  Bhiti'  and  we  were  hurried  back  to  tluit  point.  We 
went  into  camp  immediately  in  the  rear  of  Fort  Darling, 
where  we  renuiined  until  ordered  to  T^orth  Carolina  in  the 
late  fall  of  1862.  The  In-igade  went  to  Ivinston ;  was  en- 
gaged through  the  spring  of  1862  in  marching  and  counter- 
marching in  the  country  between  Ivinston  and  Xew  Bern  and 
around  Washington  on  the  Tar  river,  under  General  D.  H. 
Hill ;  some  little  fighting,  but  none  worth  describing  here. 
We  returned  to  Kinston  in  time  to  have  reached  Fredericks- 
burg before  the  battle  of  Chancellorsville,  l)ut  were  delayed 
for  want  of  transportation  facilities,  and  arrived  at  Freder- 
icksburg just  after  the  liattle  had  closed  and  were  immedi- 
ately attached  to  General  Rodes'  Division  of  Ewell's  Corps. 
Early  in  June  the  army  broke  u])  camp  and  started  on 
the  memorable  Gettysburg  campaign.  The  first  excitement 
occurrcMl  over  the  great  cavalry  Icittle  of  Brandy  Station. 
The  brigade  double-cpiicked  from  ("'ulpepper  Court  House 
most  of  the  way  to  Brandy  Station  one  hot  evening,  going 
to  the  relief  of  General  Stuart,  l)ut  arrived  on  the  field  only 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  41 

in  time  to  receive  a  few  parting  shots  from  the  retreating  en- 
emy. The  next  morning  found  us  on  our  way  across  the 
mountains  marching  rapidly  toward  Winchester.  Rodes' 
Division  was  sent  to  Berryville,  where  it  had  a  slight  engage- 
ment, and  cut  oif  the  retreat  of  Milroy,  whose  entire  command 
fell  into  the  hands  of  General  Ewell  as  prisoners  of  w^ar  at 
Winchester.  Ewell's  Corps  innnediately  took  up  its  line  of 
march  into  Pennsylvania,  and  Rodes'  Division  went  as  far 
!N"orth  as  Carlisle,  Pa.  From  this  point  the  Brigade  turned 
back  in  the  direction  of  Gettysburg  and  arrived  on  that  field 
in  the  afternoon  of  1  July. 


I  was  not  present  with  my  regiment  at  the  battle  of  Get- 
tysburg. I  was  left  at  Front  Royal,  on  the  march  to  Gettys- 
burg, with  a  severe  attack  of  acute  pneumonia,  contracted 
from  lying  on  the  damp  ground  at  Brandy  Station,  after  the 
rapid  march  from  Culpepper,  before  alluded  to.  I  met  the 
regiment  on  its  return  between  Hagerstown,  ]\Id.,  and  Get- 
tysburg, in  command  of  a  Captain.  This  much  I  know,  when  I 
met  the  regiment  it  was  but  a  mere  skeleton  of  what  it  was 
when  it  left  me  at  Front  Royal. 

My  own  company  lost  seven  men  dead  on  the  field,  and 
lost  between  twenty-five  and  thirty  wounded,  including  all  of 
its  officers  save  one.  The  Gettysburg  Federal  Memorial  i^sso- 
ciation  in  1897  published  ''A  History  of  the  Gettysl^urg  Me- 
morial Association  with  an  Account  of  the  Battle,"  from 
Mdiich  I  quote  as  follows : 

"Another  of  Rodes'  Brigades,  Daniel's  jSTorth  Carolina, 
moved  past  the  front  of  Robinson's  Division,  and  while  the 
Fifty-third  Regiment  of  the  brigade,  with  the  Third  Alaba- 
ma of  O'^N^eal's,  which  had  been  detached  from  its  brigade, 
and  the  Twelfth  Xorth  Carolina,  of  Iverson's,  attacked  the 
Seventy-sixth  iSTew  York,  Fifty-sixth  Pennsylvania  and  One 
Hundred  and  Forty-seventh  j^ew  York,  of  Cutler's  Brigade, 
on  left  of  Robinson,  Daniel's  other  regiment — the  Thirty- 
second,  Forty-fifth,  Second  Battalion  and  the  Forty-third — 
moved  further  to  the  right  around  to  the  railroad  cut,  and 
attacked  the  One  Hundred  and  Forty-third  and  One  Hun- 

42  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

dred  and  Forty-ninth  Pennsylvania,  of  Stone's  Brigade, 
which  regiments  had  been  withdrawn  from  their  first  position 
and  placed  along  the  Chamhersburg  Pike  to  meet  this  attack. 
These  regiments  were  from  the  lumber  region  of  Pennsylva- 
nia and  were  expert  riflemen,  and  the  vollies  with  which 
they  greeted  Daniel's  men  were  said  by  the  Confederate  offi- 
cers to  have  been  the  most  destructive  they  ever  witnessed." 

The  same  account  of  the  battle,  in  giving  a  table  of  losses, 
shows  that  these  two  Pennsylvania  Regiments  lost  589  men 
out  of  a  total  of  915.  While  the  Forty-fifth  Regiment  and 
the  Second  North  Carolina  Battalion  (six  companies),  lost 
that  day  nearly  400  men.  After  rei'rossing  the  Potomac,  I 
remember  that  General  Daniel  inspected  the  regiment,  pass- 
ing down  the  line  inquiring  after  the  condition  of  cartridges, 
we  having  waded  the  Potomac  the  night  before.  I  remember 
hearing  him  ask  Captain  Hopkins,  who  commanded  the  reg- 
iment, ''How  many  Rockingham  companies  are  there  in  the 
regiment?"  He  answered,  ''Six."  The  General  replied, 
"Rockingham  county  has  reason  to  be  proud  of  the  record 
made  by  the  regiment  at  Gettysburg." 

After  the  Gettysburg  campaign,  we  returned  to  the  south 
side  of  the  Rapidan,  after  many  days  of  hot  and  toilsome 
marching,  and  went  into  camp  near  Orange  Court  House,  and 
finally  moved  down  the  river  to  Morton's  Ford,  In  the  fall 
we  left  camp,  marched  to  Madison  Court  House,  turned  the 
flank  of  General  Meade,  and  started  on,  what  appeared  to  be, 
a  foot  race  after  Meade's  army  retreating  toward  Washing- 
ton. We  overtook  Meade  at  Bristoe  Station  just  at  sunset, 
after  having  been  engaged  in  a  running  fight  which  lasted 
all  day.  The  battle  of  Bristoe  Station  ended  disastriously  to 
us  but  Gen.  Meade  continued  his  retreat  toward  Washington. 
After  a  day  or  two's  rest,  we  slowly  returned  to  the  south 
bank  of  the  Ttapp:diannock  river  and  went  into  camp,  as  we 
thought,  for  the  winter.  Shortly  afterwards,  after  some 
sharp  skirmishing  with  the  enemy,  we  retired  across  the 
Rapidan  and  again  took  up  our  old  (piarters  near  Morton's 
Ford.  Winter  being  now  upon  us,  we  thought  all  fighting 
was  over  for  the  year  lSfi3,  but  shortly  afterwards.  General 
Meade,  not  satisfied  with  the  result  of  the  recent  campaign. 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  43 

threw  his  army  across  the  Rapidan.  We  hastened  down  to 
confront  him,  and  for  several  days  skirmished  and  fought  by 
day  and  built  breastworks  by  night  in  severe  winter,  until 
the  enemy,  finding  that  it  was  impossible  to  fight  us  to  ad- 
vantage, fell  back  across  the  river,  and  both  armies  returned 
to  their  quarters  to  remain  during  the  winter.  Each  com- 
mander immediately  engaged  in  filling  up  the  ranks  of  the 
depleted  regiments,  preparing  for  the  dreadful  conflict  that 
was  to  open  up  in  the  spring  of  1864. 


In  the  afternoon  of  4  May,  the  regiment  abandoned  its 
winter  quarters  and  started  on  the  march  to  meet  General 
Grant,  the  new  commander  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac.  At 
nightfall  we  went  into  camp  in  ^'The  Wilderness."  On  the 
morning  of  the  5th,  after  a  hurried  breakfast,  we  took  up  the 
line  of  march,  and  within  a  very  short  time,  were  halted  and 
drawn  up  in  line  of  battle.  It  was  a  beautiful  May  morning. 
We  began  to  advance  in  line,  having  been  informed  that  we 
had  some  of  our  troops  in  front  of  us.  We  could  hear  the 
scattering  picket  fire  to  the  left  and  right.  Suddenly  we  heard, 
what  appeared  to  be  a  heavy  volley  of  musketry  a  few  hundred 
yards  in  front  of  us.  Soon  the  woods  were  filled  with  de- 
moralized men  and  we  ascertained  that  the  lines  of  Jones' 
Brigade  had  been  broken,  and  that  the  regiments  composing 
the  brigade  were  quitting  the  field  in  the  utmost  confusion. 
We  halted  and  let  the  men  pass  through  our  ranks.  We  were 
presently  informed  by  the  Colonel  of  one  of  the  regiments 
that  the  brigade  had  broken  at  the  first  fire  of  the  enemy,  and 
that  its  commander,  the  brave  General  Jones,  had  refused  to 
retreat  with  the  men  and  had  remained  on  the  line  until 
shot  down.  As  soon  as  the  way  in  front  had  been  cleared, 
we  heard  the  voice  of  our  brigade  commander,  General 
Junius  Daniel,  give  the  command,  "Attention,  Battalions ! 
Battalions  forward,  the  center  the  battalion  of  direction, 
march !"  The  brigade  moved  for^vard  at  a  quick  step 
through  the  underbrush,  just  budding  into  spring  life. 
We  had  not  advanced  far  until,  without  notice,  a  white 
volume  of  smoke  burst  through  the  thick  bushes,  rendered 

44  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801 -'05. 

thicker  by  the  interlacing  haniboo  briers  that  had  grown  up 
in  a  little  depression  of  the  earth,  parallel  with  our  line,  fal- 
lowed with  an  almost  deafening  crash  of  musketry.  We  had 
not,  up  to  this  moment,  seen  an  enemy.  The  aim  was  too 
high  and  hardly  a  man  in  the  regiment  was  touched.  With- 
out waiting  for  a  command,  every  gun  was  leveled,  and  into 
the  line  of  smoke  we  poured  a  terrible  volley,  and,  with  a 
shout,  Avent  at  them.  On  reacliing  a  little  narrow  thicket, 
which,  with  clubbed  muskets,  was  instantly  leveled,  we  dis- 
covered a  thin  line  of  the  enemy  in  full  retreat,  with  the 
dead  and  wounded  lying  before  our  eyes,  indicating  that 
something  like  half  of  the  line  of  battle  had  fallen  at  our  first 
fire.  On  went  the  brigade  in  a  full  run.  Presently  we  ap- 
proached a  small  opening  containing  only  a  few  acres  of 
cleared  land. 

In  this  was  placed  a  battery  of  guns  which  opened  upon  us 
as  soon  as  the  fleeing  enemy  had  passed  beyond.  They  had 
time  to  fire  but  once.  Down  the  little  slope  the  brigade 
rushed  past  the  guns.  At  this  point  we  received,  at  short 
range,  the  fire  of  a  new  line  of  the  enemy,  concealed  in  the 
pines  beyond.  The  brigade  halted,  the  men  dropped  on  their 
knees  and  engaged  in  a  conflict,  the  length  of  which  I  liave  no 
means  of  knowing.  This  fight  continued  until  both  lines 
had  suffered  severely,  and,  as  if  by  common  consent,  our  line 
withdrew  to  the  edge  of  the  woods  from  which  it  had  emerg- 
ed, while  the  enemy  went  in  the  opposite  direction.  Shortly 
afterwards  the  position  we  held  was  given  to  another  brigade 
and  our  l>rigade  was  permitted  to  retire  a  few  hundred  yards 
and  rest.  We  had  lost  heavily.  The  battle  was  then  raging 
all  along  the  line  of  Ewell's  Corps  and  continued  until  after 
nightfall.  In  the  darkness  we  arranged  our  lines  and  worked 
most  of  the  night  throwing  up  earth  works.  Early  the  next 
morning  the  firing  betw^een  the  picket  lines  began.  From 
time  to  time  during  the  day  we  sent  forward  men  to 
strengthen  the  picket  line.  This  picket  fire  continued  all 
day  with  a  light  fire  of  artillery  at  intervals.  During  this 
day,  the  6th  of  May,  the  dreadful  fight  was  raging  on  our 
right  between  the  Corps  <^f  Hill  and  Longstreet  and  the 
greater  part  of  Grant's  army.     We  remained  in  our  position 

Forty- Fifth  Regiment.  45 

during  the  night  of  the  6th  and  all  day  of  the  7th  with  con- 
tinued heavy  picket  and  artillery  firing.  Early  in  the  night 
of  the  7th  we  moved  out  by  the  right  flank,  having  been  cau- 
tioned to  make  as  little  noise  as  possible,  and  commenced 
what  turned  out  to  be,  a  hurried  flank  movement  to  Spottsyl- 
vania  Court  House.  We  marched  all  night,  and  the  whole  of 
the  next  day,  and  in  the  afternoon  heard  heavy  firing  in  the 
direction  of  Spottsylvania  Court  House,  We  hurried  on. 
Now  and  then  we  passed  through  sections  where  the  woods 
were  on  fire  and  would  become  enveloped  in  choking  smoke, 
but  nothing  delayed  us.  Late  in  the  afternoon,  as  we  were 
approaching  the  field  where  Longstreet's  Corps,  now"  com- 
manded by  General  Anderson,  was  engaged  in  an  unequal 
fight  with  the  assaulting  columns  of  the  enemy,  the  march 
became  more  hurried,  frequently  breaking  into  a  double- 
quick.  The  afternoon  was  hot.  The  men,  worn  out  by  the 
long  march  and  from  loss  of  sleep,  were  dropping  exhausted 
along  the  way.  A  little  before  sunset,  and  as  we  reached  a 
point  almost  in  range  of  the  enemy's  rifles,  but  in  the  rear 
of  Longstreet's  right,  we  were  halted,  the  regiment  closed  up 
and  ordered  to  a  front.  General  Daniel  dashed  along  on 
horseback  in  front  of  the  brigade,  halting  in  the  center  of 
each  regiment,  and  announced  that  Longstreet's  Corps  had 
for  hours  been  successfully  resisting  the  repeated  attacks  of 
the  enemy  that  had  been  thrown  against  him  in  almost  over- 
whelming numbers ;  that  we  were  now  in  half  mile  of  his  ex- 
treme right ;  that  the  enemy  would,  within  a  few  minutes, 
turn  his  flank  and  get  possession  of  a  most  favorable  posi- 
tion unless  we  arrived  in  time  to  prevent  it ;  that  the  only 
question  was  whether  we  should  arrive  in  time  to  save  the 
position  or  retake  it  after  it  had  been  secured  by  the  enemy. 
This  only  occupied  a  few  minutes,  but  it  gave  the  tired  men 
these  few  minutes  to  recover  breath. 

The  announcement  of  General  Daniel  was  greeted  by  each 
regiment  with  a  shout.  The  brigade  was  ordered  into 
column,  and,  in  a  rapid  run,  we  passed  the  last  regiment  on 
Longstreet's  right  and  discovered  that  the  splendid  brigade  of 
General  Ramseur,  the  front  brigade  in  our  corps,  had  passed 
Longstreet's  last  regiment,  had  turned  by  the  left  flank,  and 

46  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

was  moving  forward  in  a  beautiful  line  to  meet  the  enemy 
that  had  just  arrived  and  was  advancing  to  turn  Longstreet's 
right.  Our  brigade  pressed  on  until  its  last  regiment  had 
passed  General  Ramseur's  right,  when  it,  in  turn,  halted  and 
closed  up  its  ranks,  fronted,  and  under  the  immediate  eye  of 
General  Eodes,  our  commander,  who  had  by  this  time  ar- 
rived on  the  spot,  raised  a  yell  and  dashed  at  the  enemy.  In 
rapid  succession  the  brigades  of  Generals  Doles  and  Battle 
passed  in  our  rear,  and  with  a  similar  movement  turned  the 
enemy's  flank,  whose  whole  advancing  line  was  driven  back. 
The  fight  continued  in  the  woods  until  after  nightfall,  the  two 
respective  lines  firing  at  the  flash  of  the  adversary's  guns. 
Slowly  the  firing  ceased,  the  litter-bearers  came  in  along  the 
line  and  bore  away  the  wounded.  The  dead,  for  the  time,  and 
in  many  instances  perhaps  for  all  time,  were  left  undisturbed 
where  they  fell. 


Soon  after  the  firing  ceased,  our  lines  were  drawn  back 
for  a  short  distance  and  preparations  for  the  next  day's  fight 
were  begun.  A  sergeant  from  each  regiment  of  our  brigade 
was  called  for  and  assembled  at  brigade  headquarters.  I 
was  detailed  as  one.  We  were  placed  in  charge  of  Captain 
W.  L.  London,  now  of  Pittsboro,  IST.  C,  (and  I  could  write 
many  pages  about  the  courage  and  faithfulness  of  this  staff 
officer).  Captain  London  carried  us  forward  in  the  dark, 
and  selected,  what  appeared  to  be,  the  highest  point  of  a  low 
ridge  between  the  lines.  He  posted  us,  one  at  a  place,  along 
the  crest  of  this  low  ridge,  until  he  had  posted  each  guide 
about  the  length  of  a  regiment  apart,  giving  each  instructions 
to  remain  in  the  pine  thicket  where  we  were  placed,  "until 
we  heard  the  signal  come  down  the  line  from  our  right,"  and 
then  to  take  it  up  and  repeat  it  as  often  as  it  came,  until  the 
regiment  formed  upon  us.  In  leaving  the  place  where  I 
stood.  Captain  London  cautioned  me  not  to  sit  down,  for  fear 
I  might  go  to  sleep,  but  to  stand  and  rest  upon  my  gun.  I 
must  have  stood  there  for  more  than  an  hour  listening  to  the 
strange  cries  of  the  wounded,  doubtless  of  both  armies,  some 
begging  for  water,  and  one  poor  fellow,  as  I  remember,  who 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  47 

had  perhaps  been  wounded  in  the  head,  was  delirious,  and 
now  and  then  would  change  his  cries  and  groans  into  a  sound 
like  the  bark  of  a  dog.  After  what  seemed  to  me  a  long 
time,  I  heard  away  on  my  right  coming  down  the  line,  a  low 
"Halloo."  This  passed  down  the  line  and  continued  until  we 
heard  the  tramp  of  the  regiments  as  they  came  up  and  formed 
upon  us.  This  was  doubtless  done  all  along  most  of  the 
lines  of  Ewell's  Corps,  and  done  in  many  places  in  the  dark- 
ness of  a  pine  thicket.  I  have  never  been  able  to  account  for 
the  forming  of  this  salient,  which  was  soon  to  become  what  is 
known  as  the  historic  "Bloody  Angle,"  except  in  this  way ; 
we  threw  up  breastworks  all  night,  and,  when  daylight  came^ 
we  found  that  a  part  of  our  division,  and  perhaps  all  of 
Johnson's  Division  and  a  part  of  Hill's  men,  were  occu- 
pying breastworks  formed  in  the  shape  of  a  horse  shoe, 
with  the  toe  upon  elevated  ground  and  the  sides  running  back 
to  the  caulks,  which  were  not,  as  I  now  see  the  ground,  more 
than  500  yards  apart. 

All  day  of  the  9th  we  encountered  a  deadly  fire  from  the 
sharpshooters  and  a  heavy  fire  of  artillery  from  the  enemy, 
to  which  we  replied  in  kind.  This  died  away  after  nightfall 
and  was  renewed  in  more  aggravated  form  on  the  morning 
of  the  10th,  and  continued  until  late  in  the  afternoon.  Sud- 
denly, at  about  an  hour  by  sun,  the  enemy  broke  from  cover 
to  our  right,  and  poured  in  overwhelming  numbers  upon  the 
line  occupied  by  General  Doles'  Georgians.  These  gallant 
men  were  overpowered  by  sheer  force  of  numbers  and  driven 
from  the  works.  The  enemy  poured  through  the  breach, 
captured  quite  a  number  of  men  on  the  extreme  right  of  our 
brigade;  forced  the  brigade  to  retire  to  avoid  the  enfilading 
fire,  and  caused  us  the  temporary  loss  of  sixteen  pieces  of 
artillery.  Our  brigade  slowly  fell  back  firing  as  it  retreated, 
the  enemy  advancing  and  taking  possession  of  our  abandoned 
guns.  In  a  short  time  we  were  in  line  at  right  angles  to  the 
works ;  the  enemy  massing  in  great  numbers  in  our  front.  It 
seemed  even  to  the  eye  of  a  private  soldier  that  a  dangerous 
crisis  was  upon  us.  Suddenly  a  single  horseman  came  dash- 
ing up  to  the  rear  of  our  regiment.  He  was  instantly  recog- 
nized by  the  men  who  saw  him,  as  General  Ewell,  our  corps 

48  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

coininaiKk'r.  lie  had  outstripped  his  staff  officers  who  were 
following-  him,  but  not  then  in  sight.  He  luilted  in  the  rear 
of  the  Forty-lif  th  Keginient,  and  called  out,  "Don't  run  boys ; 
I  will  have  enough  men  here  in  five  minutes  to  eat  up  every 
d — d  one  of  them."  His  eyes  were  almost  green.  The  line 
steadied  and  poured  volley  after  volley  into  the  enemy. 
Presently  we  heard  a  yell  up  the  line  in  our  rear  as  we  stood, 
and  Battle's  Brigade  of  Alabamians  were  seen  coming  to  our 
support.  They  ran  down  the  line  by  us.  We  raised  a  yell 
and  dashed  forward.  jS^ow,  what  became  of  Battle's  men, 
whether  they  passed  around  us  forming  a  line  parallel  with 
the  works  and  then  charged  with  us,  I  cannot  tell.  I  did  not 
then  know.  I  only  know  that  we  went  forward  in  a  full  run ; 
found  the  enemy  standing  where  we  had  left  our  batteries ; 
the  gnins  all  withdrawn  from  their  embrasures,  turned  upon 
us,  but  not  firing,  while  the  infantry  fired  into  our  faces. 
They  stood  their  ground  until  there  were  but  a  few  paces  be- 
tAveen  the  lines.  A  fine-looking  Federal  officer  stood  in  the 
front  of  their  line  wuth  drawn  saber,  encouraging  his  men. 
He  fell  dead,  within  a  few  paces  of  the  writer,  shot  through 
the  neck.  I  ascertained  the  next  morning  that  his  name  was 
Colonel  Huling,  of  the  Sixth  or  Seventh  Maine  Regiment, 
temporarily  connnanding  the  front  brigade  in  this  assault.  He 
was  a  brave  fellow  and  deserved  a  better  fate.  When  he  fell, 
his  men  breaking  in  confusion  leaped  over  the  breastworks, 
and  we  went  in  near  the  same  place  we  had  left  them.  My  re- 
collection is  that  these  lines  were  restored  by  our  brigade.  Bat- 
tle's Alabama  Brigade,  one  or  two  regiments  from  Bamseur's 
Brigade  and  a  part  of  the  brigade  of  General  B.  D.  Johnston. 
But  I  reiiKMubor  well  that  a  few  days  thereafter,  we  had  in 
the  company  a  Richmond  paper,  giving  an  account  of  the 
battle  as  connnunicated  by  an  army  correspondent,  as  having 
been  won  and  the  lost  line  recovered  by  certain  Virginia 
brigades ;  this,  indeed,  was  (]uite  a  common  thing  with  the 
Richmond  papers.  As  we  recaptured  the  line  the  brave  artil- 
lerymen, one  company  of  which  was  the  Richmond  Howitz- 
ers, as  fine  a  body  of  men  as  ever  wore  a  uniform,  rushed 
up  with  rannners  in  hand ;  wheeled  the  guns  to  their  places 
and  commenced  pouring  canister  into  the  ranks  of  the  re- 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  49 

treating  foe.  We  then  saw  why  it  was  that  we  had  not  been 
fired  upon  by  our  own  guns.  The  artillerymen  had  carried 
away  the  rammers.  Thus  ended  the  bloody  engagement  of 
10  May.  The  gTound  was  covered  with  the  dead  and 
wounded  from  both  armies.  The  gallant  Colonel  Brabble,  of 
the  Thirty-second  ]^orth  Carolina,  of  our  brigade,  was  among 
the  former. 

If  space  permitted,  I  would  be  glad  here  to  give  instances 
of  individual  acts  of  heroism  witnessed  by  me  in  this  and 
subsequent  engagements  in  this  bloody  angle.  The  morning 
after  this  fight,  I  was  asked  by  a  wounded  Sergeant  belong- 
ing to  the  Sixth  Maine  Regiment,  to  help  him  down  under 
the  hill  where  he  would  not  be  exposed  to  the  artillery  fire 
from  his  own  batteries.  I  did  so,  and  made  him  as  comfort- 
able as  I  could.  I  filled  his  canteen  with  water,  and  learned 
from  him  the  name  and  rank  of  the  officer  killed  the  evening 
before.  I  observed  among  the  enemy's  dead  inside  our  lines, 
what  I  thought  was  an  unusual  proportion  of  non-commis- 
sioned officers.  I  asked  this  Sergeant  how  this  happened. 
He  answered  that  the  evening  before,  just  before  his  brigade 
led  the  assaulting  column  upon  our  works,  that  this  same  Col- 
onel Huling  addressed  the  regiments  of  the  brigade ;  re- 
minded them  that  during  the  preceding  battles  many  com- 
pany officers  had  been  killed  or  permanently  disabled,  and 
that  he  expected  to  keep  an  eye  on  the  non-commissioned  of- 
ficers of  the  brigade  and  see  to  it  that  commissions  should  be 
given  the  deserving  ones.  He  said :  "We  came  in  front 
looking  for  promotion,  and  you  see  the  result."  He  himself 
had  a  badly  shattered  leg  below  the  knee.  The  11th  of  May 
passed  with  nothing  more  than  heavy  skirmishing  and  severe 
artillery  firing  at  intervals.  Early  in  the  morning  of  the 
11th,  General  Rodes  placed  our  brigade  at  the  right  of  the 
division  and  in  the  space  previously  occupied  by  General 
Doles.  The  brigade  took  this  as  a  compliment,  and  General 
Daniel,  soon  after  the  brigade  was  so  placed,  passed  down 
the  line  behind  the  men  and  said  to  ns :  "I  want  you  boys 
to  remember  that  if  the  enemy  come  over  these  breastworks 
today,  you  are  to  receive  them  on  your  bayonets." 

50  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

The  night  of  tho  11th  was  dark  and  drizzly.  We  sat  with 
guns  in  hand  the  entire  night,  with  a  man  to  eaeh  company 
whose  business  it  was  to  see  that  the  men  kept  awake.  We 
were  so  near  the  enemy's  lines  that  I  heard  them  knocking 
open  cracker  boxes  and  heard  them  call  to  the  men  to  come 
and  get  their  rations  (giving  '*a''  the  long  sound).  We  could 
hear,  during  the  night,  the  sound  of  axes.  They  were  evi- 
dently engaged  in  clearing  away  the  pine  bushes  near  the  toe 
of  the  horse  shoe  to  unmask  their  batteries.  Just  as  the  light 
was  beginning  to  show  on  the  morning  of  the  12th,  we  heard 
a  sharp  rattle  of  musketry  away  to  the  right,  and  suddenly 
the  enemy  came  rushing  over  the  line  of  works  occupied  by 
Edward  Johnson's  Division.  They  did  not  come  in  front  of 
our  brigade.  The  Forty-fifth  Regiment  occupied  the  posi- 
tion at  the  extreme  right  of  the  brigade  next  to  Johnson's 
Division.  It  seemed  to  me  then,  as  I  remember  now,  that 
they  captured  almost  the  entire  division  down  to  the  extreme 
left,  and  up  to  our  right.  I  saw  very  few  men  go  to  the  rear. 
We  instantly  sprang  to  our  guns  at  the  first  firing.  Our 
brave  brigade  commander  came  running  up  the  line  from 
near  the  center  of  the  brigade  to  our  regiment  and  observed 
that  the  enemy  on  our  immediate  right  was  confused  in  gath- 
ering up  prisoners.  He  called  the  regiment  to  attention; 
gave  the  command,  "About  face,"  and,  as  I  remember,  moved 
the  regiment  at  a  right  wheel,  thus  turning  the  regiment 
upon  a  pivot  on  the  left  company,  and  in  this  movement 
threw  our  backs  to  the  enemy.  While  we  were  executing 
this  movement,  we  were  ordered  to  fire  to  the  rear,  which  we 
did  as  rapidly  as  we  could.  When  we  had  reached  a  point  at 
almost  right  angles  Avith  the  works,  we  were  halted,  ordered 
to  about  face,  where  we  stood  for  a  minute  or  two  firing  into 
the  enemy's  lines  enfilading  them.  We  were  shortly  com- 
manded to  right  face  and  double-quick,  the  brigade  following 
us.  This  threw  us  partly  across  the  lines  between  the  two 
•caulks  of  the  horse  shoe,  perhaps  half  the  brigade  occupy- 
ing that  position.  In  the  meantime  the  battalion  of  artil- 
lery, down  the  line  to  our  left,  drew  their  guns  from  the 
breastworks  and  threw  them  into  line  about  fifty  yards  to  our 
rear,  in  a  position  several  feet  higher  than  the  position  we 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  51 

occupied.  We  dropped  upon  our  knees  and  opened  fire  upon 
the  enemy,  every  man  loading  and  firing  as  rapidly  as  possi- 
ble. Immediately  the  artillery  in  our  rear  opened  fire  over 
our  heads.  For  a  little  while  the  rush  of  canister  and  shrap- 
nel above  us  seemed  dangerous,  but  the  conflict  was  on  and 
in  a  short  time  we  became  accustomed  to  it.  By  the  time 
the  prisoners  of  Johnson's  Division  had  been  disposed  of,  the 
enemy  in  unbroken  lines  reaching  back  as  far  as  we  could 
Bee,  came  sweeping  on  in  our  front,  but  this  combined  fire  of 
infantry  and  artillery  was  more  than  human  flesh  could  stand 
and  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  reach  our  line.  The  first 
men  that  came  to  our  assistance  was  that  brigade  of  North 
Carolinians  commanded  by  the  peerless  Ramseur.  This 
brigade  always  seemed  to  be  in  the  right  place  at  the  right 
time.  It  came  up  and  formed  on  our  right,  as  I  remember, 
in  an  open  field,  lay  down  for  a  moment,  but  soon,  at  the 
command  of  its  leader,  sprang  up  and  dashed  forward  into 
the  horse  shoe.  For  a  moment  it  seemed  to  me  our  brigade 
ceased  firing  and  held  its  breath  as  these  men  went  forward, 
apparently  into  the  very  jaws  of  death.  They  were  soon  en- 
veloped in  smoke,  which  the  heavy  atmosphere  of  a  misty 
morning  caused  to  linger  over  the  field.  Now,  from  this 
time  until  dark  I  know  nothing  of  what  took  place,  except  that 
which  occurred  in  my  immediate  neighborhood.  Without 
moving  at  times  for  hours,  we  fired  into  the  advancing 
columns  of  the  enemy  who  were  trying  to  carry  our  position, 
while  Ramseur's  Brigade,  and  doubtless  many  other  brigades, 
were  fighting  on  our  right.  We  made  during  the  day  during 
the  little  intervals  between  the  enemy's  assaults,  a  little 
temporary  protection  composed  of  fence  rails,  poles  and 
earth,  behind  which  w^e  sat  on  our  knees  and  fired.  We  went 
in  with  sixty  rounds  of  cartridges  each.  This  supply  of 
ammunition  was  replenished  from  time  to  time  during  the 
day.     How  many  rounds  were  fired  no  man  knew. 

The  pine  saplings  standing  at  intervals  in  the  field  in  front 
of  us  and  along  on  the  sides  of  the  old  breastworks  of  John- 
son's Division,  were  torn  and  shattered  by  minie  balls.  The 
enemy  would  take  shelter  sometimes  behind  the  captured 
works,  which  formed  an  acute  angle  with  the  line  we  occupied 

52  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

and  several  times  during  the  day  I  saw  pine  saplings  perhaps 
six  or  eight  inches  in  diameter,  finally  bend,  break  and  fall, 
from  the  fire  of  musketry  aimed  at  the  top  of  the  breast- 
works. From  some  point  along  this  line,  the  stump  of  a 
white  oak,  perhaps  ten  inches  or  more  in  diameter,  that  was 
cut  down  in  this  way,  during  the  day,  was  taken  up  by  the 
Federal  forces  after  the  battle  and  carried  to  Washington, 
and  is  there  now  presented  to  show  the  efl^ect  of  the  mus- 
ketry fire.  There  was  not  a  moment,  as  I  now  remember, 
from  daylight  in  the  morning  until  long  after  dark  that  the 
battle  did  not  rage  in  this  horse  shoe.  The  fire  of  the  en- 
emy's artillery  from  the  higher  ground  near  the  toe  of  the 
horse  shoe,  and  also  from  the  right  where  Hill's  men 
fought,  was  terrific  the  entire  day.  Just  after  a  severe 
cannonading,  I  heard  General  Daniel,  who  was  sitting  at  the 
root  of  a  little  tree  in  the  rear  of  my  company  with  watch 
in  hand,  say  to  Captain  London:  ''London,  how  does  this  ar- 
tillery fire  compare  with  the  second  day  at  Gettysburg."  I 
do  not  remember  Captain  London's  reply,  but  General  Dan- 
iel continuing,  said :  "I  have  been  holding  my  watch  and 
counting  the  shells  as  they  came  into  these  lines,  and  part  of 
the  time  they  have  averaged  more  than  one  hundred  to  the 
minute."  I  do  not  think  I  am  mistaken  in  my  figures.  When 
night  came  on,  the  tired  regiments  fell  asleep  upon  the  wet 
ground.  The  men  were  in  no  condition  to  sit  up  and  discuss 
the  losses.  We  knew  that  General  Daniel  had  been  borne 
from  the  field  mortally  wounded.  We  knew  that  two  senior 
Colonels  succeeding  him  in  command  of  the  brigade  during 
the  day  had  also  fallen,  and  that  when  night  came  on  the 
brigade  was  in  command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Jas.  T.  More- 
head,  of  the  Fifty-third  Regiment.  After  the  night's  sleep, 
the  soldiers  looked  about  tliem  and  found  that  our  losses  had 
been  terrific. 

The  next  morning  we  occupied  a  new  intrenched  line  that 
had  been  fortified  during  the  night,  by  whom  I  know  not,  and 
we  were  again  ready  for  the  enemy.  There  was  little  fight- 
ing of  any  consequence  along  our  part  of  the  line  until  the 
morning,  as  I  remember,  of  the  16th,  when  the  enemy  ad- 
vanced just  at  daylight  in  heavy  forces,  but  were  easily 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  53 

driven  back  without  much  loss  on  our  side.  On  the  17th  or 
18th  and  after  the  enemy  had  drawn  back  their  line  into  the 
woods,  giving  up  the  entire  field  where  the  conflict  raged  on 
the  12th,  I  asked  permission  of  Lieutenant  Frank  Erwin, 
commanding  my  company,  to  pass  the  picket  line  and  go  over 
into  this  angle  to  make  observations.  It  was  a  bright  May 
day.  There  was  no  fighting  on  any  part  of  the  line,  and  by 
his  permission  I  went.  The  pickets  permitted  me  to  pass, 
and  I  went  over  the  breastworks  to  that  portion  of  the  field 
which  had  been  occupied  by  our  brigade,  and  then 
to  the  right,  to  the  position  which  had  been  occupied  by 
Eamseur's  Brigade.  On  my  arrival  in  this  angle,  I 
could  well  see  why  the  enemy  had  withdrawn  their  lines. 
The  stench  was  almost  unbearable.  There  Avere  dead 
artillery  horses  in  considerable  numbers  that  had  been  killed 
on  the  10th  and  in  the  early  morning  of  the  12th. 
Along  these  lines  of  breastworks  where  the  earth  had  been 
excavated  to  the  depth  of  one  or  two  feet  and  thrown  over, 
making  the  breastworks,  I  found  these  trenches  filled  with 
water  (for  there  had  been  much  rain)  and  in  this  water  lay 
the  dead  bodies  of  friend  and  foe  commingled,  in  many  in- 
stances one  lying  across  the  other,  and  in  one  or  more  in- 
stances I  saw  as  many  as  three  lying  across  one  another. 
All  over  the  field  lay  the  dead  of  both  armies  by  hundreds, 
many  of  them  torn  and  mangled  by  shells.  Many  of  the 
bodies  swollen  out  of  all  proportion,  some  with  their  guns 
yet  grasped  in  their  hands.  Now  and  then  one  could  be  seen 
covered  with  a  blanket,  which  had  been  placed  over  him  by  a 
comrade  after  he  had  fallen. 

These  bodies  were  decaying.  The  water  was  red,  almost 
black  with  blood.  Offensive  flies  were  everywhere.  The 
trees,  saplings  and  shrubs  were  torn  and  shattered  beyond 
description ;  guns,  some  of  them  broken,  bayonets,  canteens 
and  cartridge  boxes  were  scattered  about,  and  the  whole  scene 
was  such  that  no  pen  can,  or  ever  will  describe  it.  I  have 
seen  many  fields  after  severe  confiicts,  but  no  where  have  I 
seen  anything  half  so  ghastly.  I  returned  to  my  company 
and  said  to  old  man  Thomas  Carroll,  a  private  in  the  com- 
pany, who  was  frying  meat  at  the  fire,  "You  would  have 
saved  rations  by  going  with  me,  for  I  will  have  no  more  appe- 

64  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

tite  for  a  Avcck."  On  tlie  19th  our  corps  marched  in  the  af- 
ternoon around  the  enemy's  right,  crossed  one  of  the  prongs  of 
the  Mattapony  River,  and  attacked  the  enemy  on  his  right 
flank  and  rear.  We  carried  no  artillery,  and,  as  it  happened, 
that  which  we  had  hoped  would  be  a  successful  surprise  to  the 
enemy  turned  out  to  be  a  desperate  and  unsuccessful  battle. 
We  found  a  large  body  of  fresh  troops  coming  up  as  re- 
inforcements from  Fredericksburg.  We  attacked  them.  The 
engagement  began  perhaps  two  hours  by  sun  and  lasted  until 
in  the  night,  and  under  cover  of  darkness  our  corps  returned 
to  its  former  position.  In  this  engagement  our  regiment  suf- 
fered severely.  The  Colonel  of  our  regiment,  the  brave 
Samuel  H.  Boyd,  was  killed  while  leading  a  charge.  My 
own  company  came  out  of  tlie  fight  with  not  an  officer  nor 
non-commissioned  officer  left.  In  this  last  charge  the  writer 
received  a  severe  wound  from  which  he  has  never  entirely  re- 
covered. The  next  day  the  armies  commenced  a  movement 
toward  Richmond,  confronting  each  other  and  fighting 
almost  daily,  which  finally  culminated  in  the  great  battle  of 
Cold  Harbor,  3  June,  in  which  battle  the  enemy  received 
awful  punishment,  and  our  regiment  again  suffered  severely. 
While  this  battle  was  raging,  I  was  lying  helpless  in  the  Win- 
der Hospital  in  Richmond,  listening  to  the  roar  of  the  guns. 
After  nightfall  the  wounded  began  to  arrive  from  the  field. 
I  remember  liow  the  wounded  in  my  ward  lay  upon  their 
beds  and  inquired,  as  the  Avounded  were  brought  in  from 
their  companies  and  regiments,  as  to  the  result  of  tlic  battle 
and  as  to  friends  engaged.  There  I  first  learned  of  the  death 
of  Major  Smith.  The  Avard  masters  and  nurses  were  prin- 
cipally composed  of  disabled  men,  assigned  to  liglit  duty.  I 
remember  that  about  10  o'clock  tliat  night,  a  man  was  brought 
in  from  an  ambulance  upon  a  stretclier,  and  when  brought 
to  the  light,  was  found  to  be  the  only  brother  of  our  ward  mas- 
ter, and  iiKirtally  wounded.  The  next  morning  I  learned  of 
the  death  of  a  dear  friend  and  school  mate,  a  meud)('r  of 
Manly's  Battery,  M.  F.  Cummins.  He  was  sliot  tlirough 
the  head  while  mounted  ou  the  breastworks,  ea]i  in  liand, 
watching  the  effect  of  a  sliell  fired  from  his  gun  ;  a  brave, 
gallant  fellow.      Soon  after  this  battle,  the  regiment  was  sent 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment,  55 

to  join  General  Early,  and  with  his  comma;id  marched  down 
the  Valley,  crossing  the  Potomac  about  5  or  6  July,  and  had 
a  severe  engagement  with  the  enemy's  forces,  commanded  by 
General  Lew  Wallace,  near  Monocacy  Junction.  The  regi- 
ment marched  from  there  to  the  suburbs  of  Washington  and 
lay  there  for  a  day  or  twO'  drinking  water  from  the  spring 
of  Hon.  Montgomery  Blair,  and,  as  the  boys  afterwards  told 
me,  they  interfered  with  the  milk  and  butter  in  his  spring 
house,  but  this  is  hearsay  and  therefore  not  evidence.  On 
14  July  the  command  recrossed  the  Potomac  with  quite  a 
number  of  prisoners  and  camped  about  Martinsburg  and 
Winchester  for  some  time,  occasionally  skirmishing  with  the 
enemy  until  19  September,  when  Sheridan  advanced  with  an 
overwhelming  force  and  attacked  Early's  Corps,  driving  it 
from  the  field.  In  this  battle  our  division  lost  its  com- 
mander, General  R.  E.  Rodes,  He  was  a  superb  officer  and 
beloved  by  every  man  in  his  division.  The  army  retreated 
to  Fisher's  Hill,  where  it  was  again  attacked  on  22  Septem- 
ber, both  of  its  flanks  turned,  resulting  in  a  disastrous  rout. 
On  this  occasion,  as  I  was  afterwards  informed  by  the  men 
of  my  regiment,  the  regiment  held  a  position  across  the  turn- 
pike, which  it  maintained  after  the  troops  both  on  the  right 
and  left  had  fallen  back,  and  retired  in  good  order  but  not  till 
it  became  apparent  that  to  remain  longer  would  result  in  its 
capture.  The  courage  and  fortitude  of  the  regiment  on  this 
disastrous  day  served  the  purpose  of  holding  back  the  enemy 
and  covering  the  retreat  of  the  arm3^  It  was  on  this  occa- 
sion that  Colonel  John  R.  Winston,  coming  up  the  pike  with 
his  regiment  in  the  rear  of  the  retreating  army,  was  accosted 
by  one  of  his  soldiers,  who  was  lying  on  the  roadside  disabled 
by  a  wound,  and  who  pleaded  with  his  Colonel  not  to  leave 
him  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  He  rode  to  where 
he  was  lying,  reached  down  and  took  him  by  the  hand,  pulled 
him  to  his  feet,  removed  his  own  foot  from  tlie  stirrup  of  his 
saddle,  assisted  the  soldier  in  placiug  his  foot  in  the  empty 
stirrup,  lifted  him  into  his  lap  and  brought  him  off  the  field. 
The  army  fell  back  to  Cedar  Creek,  where  it  remained 
until  19  October.  On  the  night  of  the  18th  the  regiment 
participated  in  the  flank  movement  which  resulted  in  the 

56  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

rout  of  Sheridan's  army  in  the  early  morning  of  the  19th, 
which  splendid  victory  in  the  early  morning  was  turned  into 
a  disgraceful  defeat  later  in  the  day,  through  the  inexcusable 
blunder  of  some  one.  This  ended  Early's  campaign  in  the 
Valley.  Later  in  the  fall  the  brigade  returned  to  Lee's  army 
and  took  a  position  in  the  line  engaged  in  the  defense  of  Pe- 
tersburg. Here  it  remained  through  the  winter  of  1864  and 
1865  in  the  trenches,  almost  continually  under  fire. 
The  regiment  had  suffered  severely  during  the  Valley  cam- 
paign and  by  the  spring  of  1865  had  become  a  mere  skeleton. 

During  the  month  of  March,  the  regiment  occupied  a  posi- 
tion a  little  to  the  right  of  Petersburg  and  just  to  the  left  of 
Port  Mahone  and  near  the  Crater.  Just  in  front  of  the  left 
of  the  regiment  stood  Fort  Steadman  which  the  boys  called 
Port  ""Hell,"  a  powerful  earthw'ork  of  the  enemy. 

On  the  night  of  25  March,  the  regiment  participated  in  an 
assault  upon  Port  Steadman  directed  by  General  Gordon, 
and  again  suffered  severely.  Hence  Proctor^  a  private  in 
my  company,  was  one  of  the  skirmishers  who  first  entered  the 
fort  about  daybreak.  Inside  of  the  fort  bomb  proofs  were 
occupied  by  officers  and  men.  Llence  was  a  fine  soldier,  full 
of  fight  and  fun.  He  poked  his  head  into  one  of  these  bomb 
proofs,  and  called  out  with  ugly  words,  to  give  emphasis  to 
his  command,  "Come  out  of  there.  I  know  you  are  in  there." 
He  wore  long  hair.  An  officer,  startled  by  this  unexpected 
command,  sprang  out  of  his  bertli  in  his  night  clothes, 
snatched  his  saber  from  its  scabbard,  seized  Hence  by  the 
foretop  and  commenced  to  slash  him  about  the  head  with  his 
saber.  Hence  backed  out  of  the  bomb  proof,  the  officer  con- 
tinuing his  hold,  coming  out  with  him.  On  getting  outside 
in  the  open,  the  fight  became  an  uiuMiual  one.  Hence's  fixed 
bayonet  on  the  end  of  liis  gun  while  thus  held  by  the  hair, 
was  no  match  for  the  saber  in  the  hands  of  liis  adversary, 
and  but  f<ir  timely  aid  from  one  of  his  comrades,  he  would 
have  been  (piiekly  overcome.  As  it  was,  he  came  out  of  the 
fight  with  many  gashes  on  his  head  and  face.  The  assault 
upon  the  fort  was  unsuccessful. 

Along  the  line  of  works  we  occupied  we  had  but  one  man 
to  five  or  six  feet,  an  ordinary  skirmish  line.     On  the  morn- 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  57 

ing  of  2  April,  just  before  daylight,  the  enemy  advanced 
upon  our  works  in  massed  columns  ;  brushed  aside  iliechevaux 
de  frise,  cutting  the  chains  that  linked  the  parts  together  with 
axes,  and  poured  over  the  line  occupied  by  a  part  of  Battle's 
and  a  part  of  our  brigade.  Then  commenced  a  struggle 
which,  to  my  mind,  was  the  most  desperate  of  all  the  war, 
and  which  lasted  until  into  tlie  night.  Our  main  line  of 
works  stood  about  four  feet  high,  and  was  very  strong.  In 
the  rear  of,  and  at  right  angles  with  the  line,  had  been  built 
traverses,  made  by  building  log  pens  about  five  feet  high  and 
filling  them  with  earth.  They  extended  back  perhaps  forty 
or  fifty  feet.  The  purpose  of  these  traverses  was  to  protect 
the  men,  standing  in  line,  from  the  enfilading  artillery  fire 
from  Fort  Steadman  away  to  our  left.  There  was  just  room 
enough  between  the  end  of  these  traverses  and  the  main  line 
for  a  man  to  pass.  When  the  enemy  broke  over  the  line  they 
filled  the  spaces  between  these  traverses,  the  traverses  being 
about  200  feet  apart.  About  200  yards  in  the  rear  of  this 
line  had  been  placed  batteries  of  heavy  howitzers,  which,  up 
to  this  time,  had  been  masked  to  conceal  them  from  the  en- 
my.  As  these  traverses  filled,  with  the  Federal  troops,  these 
batteries  in  the  rear  opened  upon  them  with  gTape  and  can- 
ister. Major-General  Bryan  Grimes  commanded  our  divis- 
ion, and  I  need  not  say  that  at  this  perilous  moment  he  was 
with  the  men  at  the  point  of  greatest  danger,  for  he  was 
always  at  such  places.  All  day  long  the  men  of  this  division 
fought  between  these  traverses,  slowly  yielding  one  after  an- 
other when  compelled  to  do  so  by  overwhelming  forces.  The 
fire  from  the  enemy's  artillery  up  and  down  the  line  was 
concentrated  on  our  struggling  troops. 

Huge  mortar  shells,  12  inches  in  diameter,  came  plunging 
down,  sometimes  exploding  between  these  traverses  and  some- 
times burying  themselves  in  the  earth  and  harmlessly  burst- 
ing six  feet  under  gi'ound.  Long  before  noon  all  of  our  bat- 
teries had  been  silenced,  and  the  conflict  on  our  side  was 
maintained  by  infantry  alone.  I  saw  the  men  of  my  regi- 
ment load  their  guns  behind  the  traverses,  climb  to  the  top, 
fire  down  into  the  ranks  of  the  enemy,  roll  off  and  reload  and 
repeat  the  same  throughout  the  day.     While  in  the  midst  of 

58  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

this  din  of  battle,  time  after  time  they  woiild  send  up  the  old 
time  defiant  rebel  yell.  Late  in  the  evening,  I  asked  Matt. 
Secrest,  of  my  company,  whose  cheeks  from  the  corner  of  his 
mouth  to  his  ears  were  almost  black  as  lampblack  from  the 
frequent  tearing  of  cartridges,  how  many  rounds  he  thought 
he  had  fired.  His  answer  was :  ''I  know  from  the  number  of 
times  I  have  replenished  my  supply  of  cartridges  that  I  have 
fired  more  than  200  rounds." 

It  was  a  matter  of  surprise  to  us  during  the  day  that  we 
did  not  receive  reinforcements.  We  did  not  know  that  our 
lines  were  broken  throughout  their  length  and  that  every  sol- 
dier in  the  army  of  General  Lee  was  doing  five  men's  work, 
but  it  was  a  fact.  In  the  afternoon,  the  Petersburg  battalion 
of  Junior  Reserves,  composed  of  boys  without  beard,  were 
sent  to  our  assistance  and  fought  like  veterans.  At  last,  night 
came,  and  under  cover  of  darkness  the  army  that  had  been  so 
long  engaged  in  defending  the  gallant  little  city,  retired  from 
its  lines  crossed  the  Appomattox  and  started  on  the  long  re- 
treat which  ended  at  Appomattox  Court  House.  If  General 
Grant  had  succeeded  in  successfully  breaking  through  our 
lines  at  Fort  Mahone,  he  w^ould  have  cut  the  army  in  two, 
and  the  war  would  have  ended  at  Petersburg  instead  of  Ap- 
pomattox Court  House.  I  have  recently  been  along  the 
lines  at  Petersburg,  and  it  now  seems  to  me  a  mystery  how 
those  lines  were  maintained  so  long  with  so  few  defenders. 

The  rest  of  my  story  is  short.  We  fell  back  to  Amelia 
Court  House  on  the  old  Richmond  &  Danville  road,  where  we 
expected  to  draw  rations.  It  is  hard  to  imagine  our  disap- 
pointment when  we  ascertained  at  this  point  that  by  some 
cruel  mistake,  the  train  loaded  with  provisions  for  our  sus- 
tenance had  gone  through  to  Richmond  and  was  in  the  hands 
of  the  enemy. 

On  6  April,  wc  started  toward  Lynchburg.  Shortly  after 
sunrise  we  were  attacked  l)v  Sheridan  on  our  loft  flank,  and 
all  day  long  we  retreated  and  fought  and  fouglit  and  retreated, 
arriving  at  Farmville  after  night,  leaving  thousands  of  pris- 
oners in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  We  continued  our  retreat  on 
the  7th  and  8th  with  little  fighting.  On  the  night  of  the  8th  we 
camped  in  the  woods  near  the  village  of  Appomattox,  and 

Forty-Fifth  Regiment.  59 

before  day  the  next  morning  again  started  on  the  march  to- 
ward Lynchburg.  Our  division,  commanded  by  General 
Grimes,  marched  up  the  red  road  through  the  little  village, 
passed  the  Court  House  and  halted  and  formed  a  line  of  bat- 
tle just  behind  the  crest  of  a  ridge  that  lay  at  right  angles 
with  the  road.  As  soon  as  the  line  was  established,  the 
division  was  ordered  forward  in  line  of  battle,  no  enemy  in 
sight.  As  we  reached  the  top  of  the  hill,  we  were  greeted 
with  a  fire  of  artillery  and  infantry.  We  did  just  what  we 
had  always  done  before;  raised  a  shout  and  made  a  dash 
at  Sheridan's  line.  The  line  was  broken,  of  course,  and  his 
troops  driven  from  the  field.  The  division  was  halted  and  the 
men  lay  down  to  rest  awaiting  further  orders.  It  was  a 
supreme  moment,  and  the  fate  of  that  division  rested  with 
General  Lee,  the  man,  who  was  almost  worshipped  by  his  sol- 
diers. It  was  for  him  to  say  whether  the  conflict  should 
there  end  or  whether  the  remnant  of  his  army  should  close 
the  last  scene  of  the  mighty  drama,  by  submitting  to  annihi- 
lation. In  the  kindness  of  his  great  heart,  he  determined 
that  his  soldiers  had  done  enough,  and  he  yielded  to  "over- 
whelming numbers  and  resources."  During  the  seven  days' 
retreat  many  of  the  regiments  of  that  army  had  not  eaten 
what  was  sufficient  for  one  full  day's  rations.  The  ceremo- 
nies and  capitulation  having  ended,  the  men  returned  to  their 
homes.  The  course  pursued  by  these  scarred  veterans  during 
years  following  that  surrender,  in  helping  to  build  up  waste 
places  and  establish  stable  government,  in  the  Southern 
States,  is  a  part  of  the  country's  history,  and  is  as  glorious 
as  were  their  actions  on  the  field.  I  venture  to  say  that  the 
conduct  of  the  Confederate  soldiers  since  the  war,  in  submit- 
ting to  its  results,  in  bearing  the  burdens  of  taxation  to  raise 
enormous  sums  of  money,  with  which  to  pay  pensions  to 
their  old  enemies,  and  all  without  scarcely  a  murmur,  finds 
no  parallel  in  the  history  of  the  human  race. 

The  foregoing  sketch  has  been  written  from  time  to  time, 
between  pressing  professional  engagements.  I  greatly  re- 
gret that  it  had  not  been  written  years  ago,  while  facts  might 
have  been  furnished  by  the  actors,  most  of  whom  are  now 

60  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

I  trust  I  may  be  permitted  to  say  that  my  name  does  not 
appear,  as  Second  Sergeant  of  Company  K,  in  the  Roster, 
published  some  years  since,  while  the  name  of  C.  B.  Mabson, 
Second  Sergeant,  does. 

Some  people  do  not  believe  in  bad  luck.     I  do. 

Gyrus  B.  Watson. 
"Winston,  N.  C. 

9  April,  1901. 


On  19  May,  1901,  I  attended  the  unveiling  of  a  monument 
by  the  survivors  of  the  First  Regiment  Massachusetts  Heavy 
Artillery,  on  the  battle  field  of  19  May,  1864,  the  thirty-sev- 
enth anniversary  of  the  battle.  I  here  met  about  sixty-five  of 
the  said  survivors,  some  of  them  attended  by  wives  and  daugh- 
ters. I  spent  a  day  or  two  with  them  and  at  their  request 
took  part  in  the  ceremonies  and  delivered  a  short  address. 
This  regiment  fought  immediately  in  front  of  the  Forth-fifth 
N^orth  Carolina,  and  the  conflict  was  bloody.  The  monu- 
ment bears  the  following  inscription: 




Three  hundred  and  ninety-eiglit  of  whose  members  fell  ivith- 
in  an  hour  around  this  spot  during  an  action,  May  19th, 
1S64,  between  a  division  of  the  Union  Army  coinmanded  hy 
General  Tyler,  and  a  corps  of  the  Confederate  forces  under 
General  Eicell. 

Erected  hy  the  survivors  of  the  Regiment. 


Together  with  these  gallant  men  of  New  England  I  went 
over  every  part  of  the  field  and  was  surprised  to  find  how 
familiar  the  fields,  woods  and  houses  appeared. 

I  also  went  into  the  Bloody  Angle  about  a  mile  distant,  and 
had  no  difficulty  in  finding  the  places  where  the  regiment 
fought  for  days  and  nights.  The  fortifications  arc  pre- 
served without  clianoe  all  round  the  horse  shoe.     The  old 

Forty- Fifth  Regiment.  61 

McCool  house  is  just  as  it  was  thirty-seven  years  ago,  the 
weatherboards  perforated  with  bullets ;  the  Harrison  house 
almost  ready  to  fall  down  from  neglect ;  the  trees  that  suffer- 
ed during  the  battles  are  mostly  down  or  dead,  yet  quite  a 
number  living,  with  marks  of  bullets  and  shells  healed  over, 
but  plainly  visible.  There  is  considerable  growth  of  young- 
er pine  trees.  I  brought  away  three  blocks  from  a  dead  pine, 
with  bullets  embedded  in  two  and  a  grape  shot  in  another, 
which  lies  almost  at  the  spot  where  the  brave  General  Daniel 
fell.  Another  section  from  the  preserved  heart  of  the  dead 
pine,  too  large  for  me  to  bring  away,  had  nine  bullets  in  it, 
partly  concealed  by  the  wood  that  had  grown  around  them  in 
the  effort  of  the  tree  to  outlive  its  injuries ;  many  of  the 
wounded  trees  seem  to  have  recently  died.  It  seems  that 
after  the  armies  left  this  dreadful  angle,  the  dead  of  both  ar- 
mies were  buried  in  shallow  graves,  or  rather  covered  with 
earth,  and  the  ground  in  the  pine  woods  along  these  trenches 
plainly  shows  where  the  remains  had  since  been  removed.  The 
survivors  of  Daniel's  brigade  should  erect  a  monument  on 
the  spot  where  he  fell. 

C  B.  Watson. 
3  June,  1901. 


1.  W.  L.  Saunders,  Colonel.  4.    Robt.  Preston  Troy,  Captain,  Co.  Q. 

2.  A.  C.  McAll  sler,  Lieut-Colonel.  5.    J.  R   Heflin,  Captain.  Co   E. 

3.  R.  A.  Bost,  Captain.  Co.  K.  6.     O.  W.  Carr,  Captain,  Co.  G. 

7.    Adolphus  Theodorus  Bost,  Captain,  Co.  K. 


By  J.  M.  WADDILL,  Second  Lieutenant,  Company  B. 

Well  may  ISTortli  Carolina  be  proud  of  the  part  taken  by 
her  sons  in  the  war  between  the  States — proud  of  the  large 
number  of  full  regiments  furnished,  and  of  the  promptness 
and  willingness  with  which  they  were  kept  full,  as  shot,  shell 
and  saber  thinned  their  ranks ;  proud  of  their  gallantry  on 
the  battle  field,  of  their  patient  endurance  in  camp  and  on 
the  march ;  of  their  steadiness  and  reliability  under  all  cir- 
cumstances. Truly  she  has  good  cause  to  be  proud  of  her 
sons.  But  of  the  long  list  of  gallant  regiments  which  march- 
ed away  from  her  soil,  none  shed  greater  luster  on  the  mother 
State  than  the  Forty-sixth  (Infantry)  the  subject  of  this 

Others  may  have  been  as  brave,  others  as  patient  and  true, 
but  few,  if  any,  united  all  these  virtues,  which,  combined 
with  the  perfect  hamiony  prevailing  among  its  officers  and 
men  all  through  those  bloody  years,  entitle  it  to  a  topmost 
place  in  the  record  of  the  many  faithful  ones. 

The  writer  (a  boy  in  the  early  60's)  has  little  more  than 
memory  to  rely  on  in  outlining  the  experiences  of  his  regi- 
ment. A  third  of  a  century  casts  a  mist  of  uncertainty  about 
even  these  historic  events  of  the  long  ago,  which  is  his  apology 
for  any  errors  as  to  dates,  or  other  inaccuracies  which  may 

Promoted  to  the  line  from  the  Quartermaster's  Depart- 
ment after  much  of  the  history  of  the  Forty-sixth  was  made, 
he  gives,  prior  to  that  event,  the  story  as  heard  from  partici- 
pants, not  having  been  an  eye-witness  of  some  of  the  facts  nar- 

The  many  acts  of  individual  gallantry,  then  so  brilliant 
and  conspicuous,  have  in  large  measure,  faded  from  his  mem- 
ory, leaving  but  a  shadowy  recollection  of  a  group  of  heroes. 

64  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

bound  together  as  a  band  of  brothers,  vieing  with  eath  other 
on  the  battleiield,  affectionately  helping  each  other  on  the 
march  and  in  camp,  or  tenderly  caring  for  each  other  in  the 

The  memory,  indistinct  though  it  be,  of  the  daily,  hourly 
sacritices  of  these  gallant  ones  Ijrings  even  now  the  tears  to 
his  eyes  as  he  recalls  how,  on  the  weary  march,  the  last  crust 
or  the  blood  warm  contents  of  the  canteen  were  divided  with 
those  less  fortunate — how,  in  the  winter,  on  the  bleak  hill- 
sides of  Virginia,  those  begrimed,  nnkempt  knights  sat  in 
the  blinding  smoke  about  the  camp  fires,  all  through  the  long 
nights,  lest  if  they  lay  on  the  threadbare  blankets  they  should 
be  frozen  at  reveille — and  above  all,  how  those  thin,  grey  lines 
marched  gallantly  to  their  death  in  unbroken,  unwavering 
ranks,  closing  up  the  gaps  made  by  shot  and  shell,  as  they 
rushed  onward  to  their  graves. 

Grand  and  glorious  record  is  that  of  the  hosts  of  the  South 
which  emblazons  the  page  of  history  with  a  brilliancy  sur- 
passed only  l)y  that  l)loodless,  but  no  less  heroic  battle  of  life, 
w^hen  returned  to  their  blasted  homes,  they  began  the  struggle 
for  bread  and  raiment  for  loved  ones,  absolutely  empty 

What  success  has  crowned  their  efforts  is  best  illustrated 
in  the  well-filled  barns,  the  numberless  tall  factory  chimneys, 
and  the  busy  marts  of  numerous  populous  cities  all  over  the 
once  Southern  Confederacy. 


The  Forty-sixth  ]*^orth  Carolina  Infantry  had  its  birth 
in  March,  1862,  at  Camp  Mangum,  a  camp  of  rendezvous 
and  instruction  four  miles  from  Raleigh,  and  was  composed 
of  ten  companies,  as  follows : 

Company  A- — From  Robeson  County — Captain,  Tx.  M. 

Company  B — From  Bowcun  and  Burke — Captain,  W.  L. 

Company  C — From  Warren — Captain  W.  A.  Jenkins. 

Company  D — From  Richmond — Captain,  Calvin  Stewart. 

Company  E — From  Granville — Captain,  R.  J.  Mitchell. 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  65 

Company  F — From  Randolph — Captain,  A.  C.  McAlister. 
Company  G — From  Randolph — Captain,  R.  P.  Troy. 
Co:vrPANY  II — From  Moore — Captain,  ]^.  McK.  MdNTeill. 
Co:mpany  I — From  Sampson — Captain,  Owen  Holmes. 
Co:NrPANY  K — From  Cataicha — Captain,  A.  T.  Bost. 

The  organization  of  the  field  and  staff  was  as  follows: 

E.  D.  Hall,  Colonel,  Wilmington. 

W.  A.  Jenkins^  Lientenant-Colonel,  Warrenton. 

R.  J.  Mitchell,  Major,  Oxford. 

S.  T.  Green,  Snrgeon,  Warren  county. 

V.  O.  Thompson,  Assistant  Surgeon,  Warren  county. 

J.  A.  Maesh,  Quartermaster,  Randolph  county. 

G.  Holaies,  Commissary,  Sampson  county. 

Richaed  Mallett,  Adjutant,  Cumberland  county. 

T.  S.  Teoy,  Sergeant-Major,  Randolph  county. 

J.  M.  Waddill,  Quartermaster  Sergeant,  Warrenton. 

O.  P.  Shell,  Commissar}^  Sergeant,  Warrenton. 

T.  C.  Hussey,  Hospital  Ste^vard,  Missouri. 

The  changes  occurring  in  the  composition  of  the  field  and 
staff  from  the  organization  until  the  final  end  at  Appomattox 
were  as  follows : 

Resignations — Colonel  E.  D.  Hall,  November,  1863; 
Lieutenant-Colonel  W.   A.    Jenkins,   August,    1863 ;   Major 

R.  J.  Mitchell,  June,  1862;  S.  T.  Green,  Surgeon,  — ;. 

J.  A.  Marsh,  Quartermast-er,  March,  1864;  Major  R.  M. 
I^orment,  11  September,  1862. 

Deaths — Lieutenant  Richard  Mallett,  killed  August, 

Promotions — Captain  W.  L.  Saunders,  Company  B,  to  be 
Major,  1  October,  1862  ;  to  be  Lieutenant-Colonel,  1  Janu- 
ary, 1863;  to  be  Colonel,  1  January,  1864;  Captain  R.  M. 
JSTorment,  Company  A,  to  be  Major,  4  August,  1862 ;  Cap- 
tain A.  C.  McAlister,  Company  F,  to  be  Major,  1  January, 
1864;  to  be  Lieutenant-Colonel  about  June,  1863;  Captain 
:N'.  McK.  McXeill,  Company  H,  to  be  Major,  18  March, 
1864;  Surgeon  Jenkins,  of  Charleston,  S.  C.  appointed  sur- 
geon upon  the  resignation  of  Surgeon  S.  T.  Green ;  Sergeant- 


66  North  Carolina  Troops,    1861 -'Go. 

Major  T.  S.  Trov,  to  be  Second  Lieutenant  of  Company  F., 
succeeded  by  T.  W.  Wright,  of  Wilmington ;  Quartermaster- 
Sergeant,  J.  M.  Waddill,  to  be  Second  Lieutenant  Company 
B.  September,  IS 64. 

For  a  few  weeks  after  its  organization  the  regiment  re- 
mained at  Camp  Mangum,  receiving  instruction  in  the  art 
of  war  at  the  hands  of  sundry  drill  masters,  removing  thence 
to  Goldsboro,  X.  C,  when  after  a  stay  of  a  few  weeks  it 
was  hurried  to  Richmond,  Va.,  arriving  there  on  the  day 
of  the  battle  of  Seven  Pines. 

Xear  Richmond  the  Forty-sixth  was  brigaded  with  the 
following  commands,  under  Brigadier-General  J.  G.  Walker, 
as  follows :  Twenty-seventh  North  Carolina  Regiment, 
Forty-eighth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  Third  Arkansas  Reg- 
iment, Thirtieth  Virginia  Regiment,  Second  Georgia  Bat- 
talion, Cooper's  Battery  of  Artillery. 

Previous  to  the  Seven  Days  battles  the  regiment  was  sta- 
tioned at  Drewry's  Bluff  in  support  of  the  batteries  at  that 
place,  when  it  was  recalled  to  Richmond  and  sent  to 
strengthen  the  army  already  engaged  in  the  struggle  with 
McClellan,  which  resulted  in  that  officer's  now  historic 
^X'hange  of  Base." 

During  these  trying  days  the  regiment  was  but  little  under 
fire,  being  usually  in  reserve,  though  it  sustained  a  few  cas- 
ualties at  Malvern  Hill  from  the  shells  of  the  gunboats  in 
the  river. 

Pending  the  removal  of  the  Federal  army  to  its  new  field 
of  operations  in  Maryland,  the  Forty-sixth  occupied  various 
positions  around  Richmond,  mainly  at  Hanover  Junction. 

The  larger  portion  of  tlie  Confederate  army  had  proceeded 
northward  before  marching  orders  were  received  to  follow, 
and  thus  was  lost  the  opportunity  of  a  participation  in  the 
brilliant  victory  at  Second  Manassas. 

Following  the  main  body,  the  regiment  marched  toward 
Rapidan  Station,  where  it  bivouacked  for  some  days — thence 
on  toward  Culpepper,  encamping  on  the  battlefield  of  Cedar 
Run ;  thence  on  to  Warrenton,  passing  over  the  field  of  Sec- 
ond Manassas,  over  which  lay  scattered  hundreds  of  dead 
bodies,  rotting  in  the  sun — thence  to  Leesburg  and  beyond, 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  67 

crossing  tlie  Potomac  at  ''The  Upper  Ford"  to  the  music  of 
^'My  Maryland"  from  hundreds  of  soldiers'  throats. 

At  Buckeyetown,  Md.,  a  halt  was  made,  at  which  place 
the  tired  and  footsore  men  rested  for  three  days,  moving 
thence  to  Frederick  City,  ^fd.  Thence  the  regiment  moved 
at  night,  in  a  southeasterly  direction,  for  the  destruction  of 
something  in  the  nature  of  an  acqueduct  or  canal  lock  (the 
Monocacy  Bridge),  but  exactly  what  it  was,  few  in  the  regi- 
ment knew,  as  the  night  was  pitch  dark  and  the  country 
totally  unknown. 

Xothing  was  accomplished,  however,  and  at  dawn  a  hur- 
ried movement  southward,  was  begun,  continuing  all  day 
and  far  into  the  succeeding  night,  when  the  Potomac  was 
again  crossed  at  a  ford  near  Point-of-Rocks  just  before  day- 
light. This  ford  will  ever  be  remembered  as  one  of  the  many 
impossibilities  (  i)  triumphed  over  by  Lee's  foot  cavalry. 

The  chill  of  the  water,  the  multitude  of  boulders  which  lit- 
erally covered  the  bottom  of  the  river,  coupled  with  the  depth 
of  the  stream  (which  came  to  the  shoulders  of  the  shorter  men) 
all  served  to  impress  this  bit  of  experience  indelibly  upon  the 
memories  of  those  who  took  that  early  morning  dip. 

Here,  in  the  early  gray  of  the  dawn,  by  some  mistake,  the 
Forty-sixth  received  a  volley  from  one  of  General  Ransom's 
regiments,  resulting  in  a  few  minor  casualties. 

Having  rested  for  a  day  on  the  Virginia  shore,  line  of 
march  was  taken  up  for  Harper's  Ferry,  where  the  regiment 
took  part  in  the  operations,  resulting  in  the  surrender  of  that 
stronghold  with  11,000  prisoners,  with  slight  loss  to  the  Con- 

From  Harper's  Ferry  the  command  moved  to  Shepherds- 
town,  Va.,  arriving  on  16  September,  crossed  immediately 
over  into  Maryland  and  w^as  once  more  united  with  the  Army 
of  ISTorthern  Virginia. 

In  the  great  battle  of  the  17th,  near  Shaii3sburg,  Md.,  the 
Forty-sixth  bore  a  conspicuous  part,  calling  forth  from  the 
division  commander  especial  mention  of  its  gallant  colonel 
and  staff  for  distingiiished  bravery  and  coolness  under  fire, 
as  well  as  for  the  line,  which  received  the  shock  of  battle  like 
veterans  of  an  hundred  fields. 

68  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'G5. 

It  was  said  by  an  eye-witness  of  one  of  the  charges  of  the 
Forty-sixth,  in  which  a  force  of  the  enemy  was  driven  from 
its  position  and  his  guns  captured,  that  "he  hoped  for  their 
own  sakes  that  the  Forty-sixth  North  Carolina  would  soon 
learn  the  difference  between  the  deliberation  of  a  dress  parade 
and  a  charge  over  an  open  field  in  the  face  of  largely  supe- 
rior numbers."  During  the  day  the  regiment  occupied  sev- 
eral different  positions  of  importance  and  great  danger,  in 
which  on  every  occasion  it  exhibited  that  steadiness  and  cool- 
ness which  was  to  characterize  its  record  all  through  the 
eventful  years  to  follow.  Space  allotted  to  this  sketch  for- 
bids details  of  this  or  other  engagements  in  which  the  regi- 
ment participated.  The  losses  for  the  day  aggregated  about 
eighty,  being  fully  one-fourth  of  the  number  in  line.  It  is 
proper  to  explain,  in  view  of  the  small  number  of  men  in  line 
at  Sharpsburg,  that  this  was  the  first  forced  march  under- 
taken by  the  regiment,  and  in  the  mad  rush  from  Harper's 
Ferry  to  Sharpsburg,  many  of  the  men  were  physically  une- 
qual to  the  task  and  fell  by  the  wayside  from  exhaustion,  re- 
joining the  regiment,  some  during  the  engagement,  others 
coming  up  during  the  next  two  or  three  days. 

The  Potomac  was  again  crossed  on  the  night  of  18  Septem- 
ber with  the  army  in  perfect  order,  and  position  taken  up  near 
Martinsburg,  where  for  several  days  the  men  were  engaged  in 
destroying  railway  tracks  and  bridges  in  that  vicinity. 

The  next  stop  of  importance  was  at  Winchester,  where  a 
stay  of  two  or  three  weeks  was  made.  Here,  in  this  then  land 
of  plenty,  the  men  revelled  in  the  best  of  fresh  beef,  vegeta- 
bles, fruits,  not  forgetting  the  honey,  needing  nothing  for  the 
stomach's  sake,  save  "salt,"  which  commanded  a  price  near 
its  weight  in  gold. 

A  short  time  after  Sharpsburg  General  J.  G.  Walker,  who 
had  comuiaudcd  tlie  brigade,  was  promoted  to  a  division  in 
the  West,  and  Brigadier-General  John  R.  Cooke  was  assigned 
to  the  command  and  held  this  position  to  the  close  of  the 

The  men  of  the  Forty-sixth  parted  with  General  Walker 
with  unusual  regret,  having  learned,  in  the  brief  period  in 
which  he  commanded  the  brigade,  to  regard  him  with  the 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  69 

highest  esteem,  for  his  care  of  the  force  under  his  command, 
as  well  as  for  his  courage  and  coolness  under  the  most  trying 

General  Cooke  assumed  command  of  the  brigade  almost  a 
stranger  to  the  men  of  the  Forty-sixth,  and  many  a  doubt 
was  expressed  as  to  the  ability  of  "that  kid"  (as  he  was  at 
first  called)  to  handle  the  brigade,  being  almost  boyish  in  his 

A  year  or  less  thereafter  all  doubts  had  vanished,  for  "that 
kid"  had  proven  his  ability  on  many  occasions.  It  is  doubt- 
ful if  any  general  officer  in  the  army,  with  the  exception  of 
Lee  and  Jackson,  was  more  beloved  by  the  men  of  his  com- 
mand than  was  John  R.  Cooke.  Young,  brave,  generous  and 
kindly  in  his  dealings  with  officers  and  men,  there  ever  ex- 
isted the  strongest  ties  between  commander  and  men,  which 
lasted  to  the  end.  No  braver  cavalier  ever  rode  to  death  than 
General  Cooke. 

From  Winchester  the  next  move  was  down  the  valley  and 
through  Ashby's  Gap,  encamping  for  several  days  at  Upper- 
ville,  on  the  top  of  the  Blue  Ridge. 

From  Upperville,  on  31  October,  the  command  moved  in 
the  direction  of  Culpepper  Court  House,  stopping  for  a  brief 
rest  at  Orleans. 

Marching  by  easy  stages,  pausing  here  and  there  for  a  day 
or  tw^o,  the  regiment  made  its  way  to  Fredericksburg,  arriv- 
ing in  front  of  that  place  22  ISTovember.  The  last  five  days  was 
a  forced  march  in  a  continuous  downpour  of  rain. 

The  experiences  of  the  men  on  this  march  across  Virginia 
were  very  severe — poorly  clad,  many  barefooted — little  or  no 
camp  equipage  and  with  an  almost  unprecedented  spell  of 
bad  w^eather,  all  conspired  to  the  utterance  of  some  bad  lan- 
guage, which  history  does  not  require  should  be  reproduced 

From  22  March  to  11  December  the  regiment  remained  in 
camp  two  or  three  miles  from  Fredericksburg,  when  it  took 
position  at  the  foot  of  the  heights  fronting  the  little  city,  and 
immediately  behind  the  stone  wall  on  Marye's  Heights. 

Here  it  awaited  the  attack  of  Burnside,  and  bore  a  full 
share  in  that  historic  slaughter.     In  comparative  security, 

70  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

protected  by  the  wall  about  breast  bigh,  all  day  long  it  shot 
doAvn  the  brave  men  who  charged  again  and  again  acros?  the 
level  plain  in  front,  vainly  yeit  most  gallantly  striving  to  ac- 
complish an  impossibility.  The  loss  in  the  regiment  in 
killed  and  wounded  during  the  (hiy  was  seventy-one.  Among 
the  wounckMi  was  Colonel  W.  L.  Saunders,  shot  by  a  minie 
ball  through  the  mouth.  It  was  rehited  by  those  near  the 
Colonel,  that  during  a  lull  in  the  tiring,  he  was  enjoying  a 
hearty  laugh  at  some  remark  when  the  luinie  entered  the 
wide  open  mouth,  making  its  exit  through  llie  check.  It  was 
said  to  have  been  the  most  abruptly  ended  laugh  heard  during 
the  war. 

Among  the  lamented  dead  in  this  engagement  was  Lieu- 
tenant Samuel  P.  Weir,  a  young  otticer  of  great  promise — a 
gentlenum  and  a  ( 'hristian. 

The  command  remained  in  front  of  Frederiekslnirg  until 
3  January,  1863,  when  orders  were  received  to  move  to  a  new 
camp  ground,  a  mile  away,  which  had  been  carefully  pre- 
pared the  day  before. 

Accordingly,  the  men  moved  the  next  morning  loaded  down 
with  rude  benches,  tables,  tubs,  etc. — such  accumidation  of 
conveniencies  as  come,  no  one  knows  how,  in  a  camp  of  some 
days.  Instead  of  moving  a  mile,  as  was  expected,  the  next 
sto]i  with  any  scml)hiucc  of  pcnuaueucy  was  at  Holly  Shelter 
near  Wilmington,  X.  C'.,  which  found  the  men  in  much 
lighter  marching  order,  having  laid  aside  their  burdens  of 
benches,  buckets,  tables,  etc.  Holly  Shelter  pro\'e(l  a  haven  of 
repose  after  the  Virginia  campaign.  Some  weeks  were  spent 
in  this  vicinity,  the  time  being  divided  between  Holly  Shelter, 
Burgaw  and  Wilmington. 

From  this  agreeable  stay  the  regiment  was  called  to 
Charleston,  S.  C,  on  8  April,  where  a  stay  of  a  few  days  was 
made  at  the  "Four  ^lile  House,''  whence  the  command 
moved  to  Pocataligo,  S.  C.,  a  cam]i  dubltcd  liy  tlic  rcuimcutal 
wit  as  '"The  Devil's  ]\risery  Hole.'' 

Insects  in  millions  iiivad(Ml  the  camjt  by  day  and  night, 
dev(>loping  a  biting  and  stinging  power  hitherto  unknown  to 
tlie  up-country  men  composing  the  regiment. 

Rations  were  scarce  and  Commissary  Sergeant  Shell  made 

A8T0R,  a*«o«  A»» 


1.  Thomas  Troy.  Lieutenant,  Co.  G.  3.    W.  C.  Bain,  Sergeant,  Co.  G. 

2.  Henry  C.  Latta.  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  E.  4.    James  A.  Crews,  Sergeant,  Co.  E. 

(Killed  at  Petersburg,  Nov.  12, 1864.)  5.    C.  R.  Thomasson,  Private,  Uo.  E. 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  71 

affidavit  before  Serg'eant-Major  Troy  that  "thirteen  typical 
South  Carolina  cattle  yielded  only  eleven  hundred  pounds  of 
blue  beef." 

With  shouts  of  joy,  the  regiment  bade  adieu  to  Pocataligo 
about  20  April,  proceeding  to  Topsail  Sound,  near  Wilming- 
ton, where  the  usual  anny  ration  was  totally  disregarded  for 
the  luscious  oyster,  to  be  had  in  the  sound  for  the  getting. 

8  ]\lay  camp  was  broken  and  the  regiment  moved  to 
Goldsboro,  from  whence  it  took  a  bloodless  part  in  the  Kin- 
ston  campaign. 

6  June  the  command  left  Xortli  Carolina  for  Virginia, 
where  it  was  stationed  near  Hanover  Junction. 

Various  camps  were  occupied  near  Richmond,  the  brigade 
being  stationed  here  for  the  protection  of  the  city,  while  the 
main  army  marched  to  Gettysburg. 

Nothing  of  interest  occurred  here  except  a  most  brilliant 
engagement  at  South  Anna  bridge,  between  Company  B, 
of  the  Forty-sixth,  supporting  a  battery,  and  a  force  of 
T'uion  cavalry,  about  6  July,  in  which  that  company  covered 
itself  with  glory.  Thirty-three  fresh  graves  were  counted 
on  the  Federal  position  of  the  engagement.  Loss  in  Com- 
pany B,  four  killed  and  ten  wounded. 

Late  in  July,  1863,  found  the  regiment  near  Fredericks- 
burg, where  it  remained  until  30  Augiist.  During  this  time 
the  death  of  Adjutant  ]\lallett,  at  the  hands  of  deserters  from 
another  regiment,  whom  he  was  endeavoring  to  arrest,  cast  a 
gloom  over  the  entire  regiment. 

Tliis  gallant  young  officer  had  endeared  himself  to  every 
member  of  the  regiment  by  his  excellent  bearing  in  the  field, 
as  well  as  the  genial  good  nature  manifested  in  his  daily 
duties  in  camp.  A  detail  under  Lieutenant  Mallett  had  been 
sent  in  pursuit  of  the  party  of  deserters.  By  some  means  he 
became  separated  from  most  of  his  small  force  and  coming 
up  Avith  the  refugees  he,  with  his  usual  fearlessness,  rode  up 
to  them,  demanding  their  surrender,  when  one  of  the  party 
shot  the  noble  fellow  dead. 

1  September,  1863,  the  regiment  bade  a  final  adieu  to 
Fredericksburg,  proceeding  by  the  way  of  Guinea's  Station  to 
Taylorsville,  where  it  remained  some  days,  when  on  25  Sep- 

72  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

tember  orders  were  received  to  repair  to  Gordon sville,  wliere 
a  quiet  sojourn  was  had  until  9  October,  removing  on  that 
day  to  Madison  Court  House,  this  being  the  first  day's  march 
in  the  fatal  flank  movement  to  Bristoe.  On  this  date  Cooke's 
brigade  (now  composed  of  North  Carolina  regiments,  as  fol- 
lows. Fifteenth,  Twenty-seventh,  Forty-sixth,  Forty-eighth 
and  Fifty-fifth)  was  attached  to  General  Harry  Heth's  Divis- 
ion, and  was  thus  attached  until  the  close.  The  Division  w^as 
composed  of  following  brigades:  Cooke's  North  Carolina, 
Kirkland's  North  Carolina,  Davis'  Mississippi,  Archer's 
Tennessee,  Walker's  Virginia.  Heth's  Division  formed  a 
part  of  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps,  composed  of  the  divisions  of  Heth, 
Wilcox  and  Anderson. 

From  9  to  14  October  the  command  made  a  series  of  most 
difficult  marches  over  the  ridges  and  across  the  rapid  run- 
ning streams  which  characterize  the  foothills  of  the  Blue 
Ridge — in  the  effort  to  reach  Manassas  ahead  of  Meade,  who 
was  being  pressed  toward  that  point  by  General  Lee. 

Much  of  the  distance  was  covered  at  night,  over  such  roads 
as  language  fails  to  describe. . 

On  the  morning  of  14  October,  Cooke's  Brigade  took  the 
advance  and  in  the  afternoon  struck  the  Union  forces  in  a 
strong  position  behind  the  railway  embankment  at  Bristoe 
Station,  with  a  number  of  field  guns  on  the  eminence  in  the 
rear.  Before  any  support  came  up  General  Cooke,  under 
orders,  imme.liately  attacked  with  great  gallantly.  In  the 
charge  ma(k>  hy  this  devoted  brigade,  the  gallant  Cooke 
fell,  shot  in  the  forehead,  when  the  connnand  devolved  on 
Colonel  E.  D.  Hall,  of  the  Forty-sixth. 

The  unequal  struggle  was  waged,  with  no  result,  save  the 
loss  of  valuable  lives ;  indeed  a  disaster  was  only  averted  by  a 
rapid  change  of  front  by  the  Forty-sixth  under  Colonel  Hall's 
immediate  lead  by  which  the  enemy's  left  flank  movement 
was  checked.  This  movement,  made  under  a  heavy  fire  from 
both  infantry  and  artillery,  elicited  great  praise,  and  added 
new  laurels  to  the  record  of  the  Forty-sixth  for  steadiness  and 
deliberation.  The  effort  to  dislodge  the  enemy  from  liis  posi- 
tion proving  fntile,  the  command  was  withdrawn  in  g(^od  or- 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  73 

der,  out  of  rifle  shot,  which  position  it  held  until  the  next 
morning,  bj  Avhich  time  the  enemy  had  disappeared. 

It  was  said  that  General  Lee  most  severely  criticised  Gen- 
eral A.  P.  Hill  for  this  blunder — that  of  sending  a  force 
of  only  two  small  brigades  (Cooke's  and  Kirkland's)  against 
overwhelming  odds  strongly  intrenched,  with  ten  or  twelve 
regiments  in  reserve,  who  never  fired  a  gun.  Such  a  course 
was  then,  and  is  yet  unaccountable,  on  the  part  of  a  command- 
ing officer  of  undeniable  ability. 

In  this  unfortunate  affair  the  Forty-sixth  had  about  sixty 
casualties — the  configuration  of  the  ground  over  which  it 
fought  only  saving  it  from  a  much  severer  loss. 

On  18  October  the  command  crossed  the  Rappahannock  on 
pontoons,  which  were  necessary,  the  river  being  much  swollen, 
and  went  into  what  was  at  the  time  supposed  to  be  winter 

About  this  time  the  Forty-sixth  lost  its  brilliant  Colonel, 
E.  D.  Hall,  who  resigned  to  accept  a  civil  office  in  ISTorth  Car- 
olina. Col.  Hall  had  brought  the  regiment  up  to  a  high  stand- 
ard in  every  respect — a  brave  man,  a  good  disciplinarian,  the 
service  lost,  in  his  resignation,  a  most  valuable  and  efficient 
officer — and  it  was  with  much  regi'et  that  his  regiment  bade 
him  farewell.  On  the  hillside,  near  the  Rapidan,  huts  were 
built  and  the  men  proceeded  to  make  themselves  comforta- 
ble, but  the  hope  of  a  winter's  rest  was  rudely  dissipated  by 
being  suddenly  ordered,  on  8  November,  to  a  position  two 
miles  from  Culpepper  Court  House  to  oppose  Meade's  threat- 
ened advance,  who  had  already  captured  a  large  portion  of 
Hoke's  and  Hayes'  Brigades.  Expectations  of  a  general  en- 
gagement were  not  realized,  and  12  I^ovember  found  the 
Forty-sixth  in  camp  near  Rapidan  Station,  on  the  south  bank 
of  the  river,  from  which  on  27  of  l^ovember  it  again  moved 
to  confront  IMeade  at  Mine  Run.  Here  the  army  entrenched 
and  awaited  the  attack,  which  never  came.  The  artillery 
was  at  times  engaged,  and  there  were  a  few  casualties  in  the 
brigade,  but  no  loss  in  the  Forty-sixth. 

From  this  date  until  8  February,  1864,  the  regiment  oc- 
cupied its  winter  quarters  near  Rapidan,  the  monotony  varied 

74  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801 -'65. 

by  one  or  two  bloodless  and  brief  expeditions  to  tbe  left  wing 
of  the  annj,  caused  by  Federal  cavalry  demonstrations. 

On  8  February,  new  quarters  near  Orange  Court  House 
having  been  constructed,  the  command  again  moved.  This 
cam])  was  the  best  yet  occupied,  in  a  well-wooded  and 
w-atered  section,  and  the  severe  winter  of  1863-'6-i — what  re- 
mained of  it — was  spent  here  in  comparative  comfort. 

The  monotony  here  was  unbroken  by  any  event  w^orth  re- 
cording save  possibly  the  gTcat  battle  of  ''The  Snow,"  which 
took  place  on  23  March,  the  snow  being  about  fifteen  inches 
deep  and  is  thus  chronicled.  On  the  morning  of  this  eventful 
day,  the  Twenty-seventh  North  Carolina  challenged  to  mortal 
combat  the  Forty-sixth  North  Carolina.  As  the  two  regi- 
ments were  getting  into  position,  a  long  line  of  gTay  skir- 
mishers from  the  direction  of  Kirkland's  camp  announced 
the  fact  that  Cooke's  command  was  to  defend  itself  from  the 
onslaught  of  that  gallant  brigade.  Hastily  sending  word  to 
the  other  Cooke  regiments  to  come  to  the  support,  the  Twen- 
ty-seventh and  Forty-sixth  rushed  upon  Kirkland. 

For  an  hour  the  fight  raged  furiously,  ending  in  the  utter 
rout  of  the  brave  Kirklandites  who  were  driven  pell  mell  out 
of  their  quarters,  the  victors  appropriating  to  their  own  use 
and  behoof  all  the  cooking  utensils  to  be  found  therein. 
That  evening  orders  were  issued  to  company  commanders  to 
see  that  all  such  utensils  were  promptly  returned. 

Diligent  search  was  made,  but  as  every  man  found  in  pos- 
session of  a  cooking  vessel  vowed  tliat  *iie  liad  owned  it  for 
many  months,"  it  is  doubtful  if  a  single  article  was  ever  re- 

Tlie  Kirkland  men  being  dissatisfied,  sent  a  foi-nial  chal- 
lenge to  r\:>oke,  for  a  "settlement"  the  next  day,  which  was 
had  in  a  ceremonious  Avay  in  ]iresence  of  an  immense  crowd 
of  onlookers,  including  a  nuniher  of  general  officers  with  their 
staft's  from  other  commands. 

The  result  was  disastrous  in  the  extrt'iiic,  to  (^toke's  com- 
mand, which  was  utterly  rontccl,  losing  nearly  one-half  its  of- 
ficers and  men  as  prisoners  of  war,  who  were  confineil  and 
informed  that  they  would  be  detained  until  the  "skillets" 
were  prodnceil,  l)nt  the  approach  of  night  an<l  rlie  increasing 
cold  frustrated  this  ])urpose  and  all  lian<ls  retnrned  to  tlieir 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  75 

huts,  good  friends.  A  number  of  minor  casualties  resulted 
from  this  wholesale  fun,  but  only  one  of  a  serious  nature. 

On  30  March,  Governor  Z.  B.  Vance  addressed  the  brigade, 
closing  with  a  series  of  anecdotes,  which  sent  the  men  to  their 
quarters  in  excellent  good  humor.  It  was  observed  that  the 
Governor  did  not  once  allude  to  Holden  and  his  adherents, 
these  being  the  then  absorbing  topics  in  Xorth  Carolina. 

The  months  of  March  and  April  witnessed  a  series  of  re- 
vivals of  religion  throughout  the  army.  It  was  hoped  that 
the  Forty-sixth  derived  great  and  lasting  good  from  these 
meetings,  more  to  be  prized  than  any  earthly  blessing. 

1  May  found  the  regiment  with  comparatively  full  ranks, 
and  by  the  restored  health  of  the  sick  and  wounded,  number- 
ing over  500  strong.  The  efficient  Colonel,  W.  L.  Saunders, 
who  had  succeeded  Colonel  Hall,  having  lent  his  best  energies 
during  the  winter  to  bring  it  up  to  a  high  state  of  discipline, 
it  marched  away  from  its  comfortable  quarters  on  4  May, 
1864,  in  better  condition  than  ever  to  meet  the  trials  and 
struggles  of  its  last  and  most  terrible  campaign. 

On  5  May,  in  the  dense  undergrowth  of  the  "Wilderness," 
the  Union  army  was  encountered — the  Forty-sixth  l^eing  in 
line  immediately  on  the  plank  road,  Company  B  being  in 
the  road.  The  record  of  that  day  of  butchery  has  often  been 
written.  A  butchery  pure  and  simple  it  was,  unrelieved  by 
any  of  the  arts  of  war  in  which  the  exercise  of  military  skill 
and  tact  robs  the  hour  of  some  of  its  horrors.  It  was  a  mere 
slugging  match  in  a  dense  thicket  of  small  growth,  where 
men  but  a  few  yards  apart  fired  through  the  lu-ushwood  for 
hours,  ceasing  only  when  exhaustion  and  night  commanded 
a  rest. 

The  fight  in  General  Cooke's  front  was  opened  by  the  gal- 
lant Wishart  with  his  skirmishers,  who  in  the  dense  brush, 
ran  right  into  the  enemy  before  he  knew  their  whereabouts, 
receiving  a  volley  at  but  a  few  paces  distance,  which  laid  low 
more  than  half  our  nund)er,  including  their  fearless  com- 
mander severely  wounded. 

All  during  that  terrible  afternoon,  the  Forty-sixth  held  its 
own,  now  gaining,  now  losing — resting  at  night  on  the  ground 
over  which  it  had  fought,  surrounded  by  the  dead  and  wound- 

76  North  Carolina  Trooi's,  1801 -'05. 

ed  of  both  sides.  Early  on  the  morning  of  the  6th,  the  bat- 
tle was  renewed  with  increased  vigor  by  the  enemy  who  had 
received  reinforcements  during  the  night,  and  it  was  not  long 
before  the  heavier  weight  of  the  Union  attack  began  to  slowly 
press  back  the  decimated  Confederate  line.  Matters  were 
assuming  a  serious  aspect  \\hon  T.ongstreet's  Corps,  fresh 
from  the  west,  with  Lee  at  its  head,  trotted  through  the 
weakened  line  and  forming  under  lire,  soon  liad  the  enemy 
checked,  driving  him  back  to  his  original  position.  The 
writer  had  the  pleasure  of  witnessing  this  glorious  scene — the 
most  soul-inspiring  sight  the  imagination  can  conceive,  and 
one  never  to  be  forgotten. 

The  night  of  the  6th  the  list  of  casualties  was  hastily  made 
up — possibly  not  accurate — as  follows:  Forty-sixth  Xorth 
Carolina,  killed  39,  wounded  251,  total  200,  out  of  an  effec- 
tive strength  of  540  men.  The  following  were  instantly 
killed :  Captain  N.  N.  Fleming,  of  Company  B ;  Lieutenant 
George  Horah,  of  Company  B;  Lieutenant  J.  A.  B.  Blue,  of 
Company  H ;  Lieutenant  T.  S.  Troy,  of  Company 
G.  Wounded:  Colonel  W.  L.  Saunders,  Captain  A.  T. 
Bost,  of  Company  K ;  Lieutenant  F.  M.  Wishart,  of  Com- 
pany A ;  Lieutenant  T.  G.  Jenkins,  of  Company  C. 

After  the  6th,  Grant's  famous  left  flank  movement  began ; 
the  Forty-sixth  on  the  front  line  almost  daily  until  Appo- 

On  10  May,  the  regiment  was  again  engaged  at  Spottsyl- 
vania  Court  House,  where  Cooke's  Brigade  made  a  most  liril- 
liant  and  successful  charge  on  the  enemy's  batteries — -loss  not 
heavy,  except  in  Company  C,  (Captain  S.  W.  Jones)  who  lost 
three  killed  and  eight  wounded.  Officers  wounded :  Captain 
S.  W.  Jones,  of  Company  C;  Lieutenant  Kouib,  of  Com- 
pany K,  mortally. 

Again  on  12  May  was  the  Forty-sixth  engaged — suft'ering 
slightly.  From  the  12th  to  19th,  the  Forty-sixth  was  con- 
tinuously in  line,  confronting  the  enemy — with  suuill  loss. 

The  continual  lateral  movement  of  both  armies  brought 
them  near  Mechanicsville,  on  28  May,  being  a  series  of  skir- 
mishings to  this  date. 

On  2  and  3  June  the  entire  brigade  did  some  handsome 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  77 

work  near  Mechanicsville,  receiving  the  highest  encomiums 
from  the  Richmond  Examiner  which  was  said  to  have  praise 
only  for  Virginians. 

From  3  to  12  June,  the  Forty-sixth  well  entrenched,  con- 
fronted the  enemy  at  vei*y  close  quarters — so  close  that  con- 
versation could  be  carried  on  between  the  opposing  forces. 

12  June,  the  sidelong  movement  was  resumed.  15  June 
the  regiment  Avas  engaged  in  White  Oak  Swamp  for  some 
hours — losing  about  twenty-five  men.  Here  it  was  that 
Lieutenant  Robert  A.  Small,  of  Company  G,  met  his  death. 
Few  nobler  spirits  "passed  over  the  river"  during  those  ter- 
rible years  than  that  of  Lieutenant  Small — a  Christian  and 
one  of  nature's  noblemen. 

18  June  the  command  crossed  the  James  river,  above 
Drewu-y's  Bluff,  and  occupied  a  position  near  Petersburg,  in 
the  entrenchments. 

The  line  of  march  of  the  regiment,  from  the  beginning  of 
the  campaign,  was  as  follows :  Along  the  Fredericksburg 
turnpike  to  "The  Wilderness" — thence  to  Spottsylvania 
Court  House,  Hanover  Junction  via  Brooke  turnpike  to  new 
Mechanicsville — thence  via  ''ISTine  Mile  Road,"  Williams- 
burg road,  Charles  City  road,  Darbytown  road,  River  road, 
across  Drewry's  Bluff"  pontoon  bridge  to  the  Richmond  and 
Petersburg  turnpike,  thence  to  Petersburg — a  path  marked 
at  almost  every  step  wdth  blood. 

From  19  June  to  22  August,  the  regiment  occupied  various 
positions  on  the  front  lines  near  Petersburg,  being  moved 
hither  and  thither  as  emergency  required. 

22  August  the  Forty-sixth  took  part  in  a  brilliant  affair, 
on  the  extreme  right  of  the  lines,  on  the  Weldon  Raihvay, 
driving  from  their  works  two  lines  of  the  enemy,  but  was 
checked  in  its  mad  rush  at  the  third  line  by  a  wdthering  fire 
of  grape  and  canister — under  which  a  number  of  gallant 
spirits  sank  to  rise  no  more,  among  others  Captain  L.  Bran- 
son, Company  F,  shot  through  the  body  by  a  gi'ape  shot. 

25  August,  one  of  the  most  desperate  actions  of  the  year 
was  fought  at  Reams  Station,  mainly  by  Cooke's  and  Kirk- 
land's  Brigades.  The  enemy  was  strongly  fortified  with  a 
quantity  of  artillery.   Two  brigades  of  Wilcox's  Division  had 

78  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'Go. 

failed  to  drive  them,  when  Cooke's  and  Kirkland'.s  were  sent 
forward,  and  in  a  most  terrific  storm  of  tlnnnhn"  and  light- 
ning, steadilv  adxaiiced  over  tlie  lield,  facing  a  th'adlv  fire, 
and  with  a  veil  carried  everything  before  them,  capturing 
seven  stands  of  coh)rs,  nine  guns,  2,100  prisoners  and  a  large 
quatitv  of  camp  e(iui])age. 

The  bayonet  was  freclv  used  in  this  afl^air,  and  Lieutenant- 
(^olonel  A.  C.  McAlister  distinguished  himself  hy  his 
daring  in  leading  the  regiment  to  the  muzzles  of  tlie  cannon. 

Loss  in  the  Forty-sixth,  seventy-three  killed  and  wounded. 
Among  the  wounded  were  Captain  H.  R.  KcKinney,  of  Com- 
pany A ;  Captain  A.  T.  Bost,  of  Company  K ;  Captain  Troy, 
of  Company  G ;  Lieutenant  T.  R.  Price,  of  Company  C ; 
Lieutenant  M.  X.  Smyer  (both  eyes  shot  out)  ;  Lieutenant. 
J.  W.  Brock,  of  Company  G. 

After  Reams  Station  the  regiment  returned  to  the  lines 
around  Petersburg,  occupying  different  positions  until  De- 
cember, when  winter  quarters  were  built  on  llatclu-r's  Run, 
near  Burgess'  mill,  about  ten  miles  from  Petersl)urg  and  im- 
mediately in  front  of  the  enemy. 

About  7  December  took  place  the  famous  Bellfield  expedi- 
tion, noted  for  the  suffering  endured  by  the  men  from  cold 
and  exposure,  which  continued  for  five  days. 

From  7  December  to  4  February  the  Forty-sixth  re- 
mained in  winter  quarters,  with  little  to  vary  the  monotony. 

5  February,  1865,  took  place  the  affair  at  ILitcher's  Run, 
in  wliicli  the  regiment  was  engaged,  with  some  loss,  among 
tlie  killed  being  Lieutenant  T.  W.  Brock,  of  Comjiany  G,  by 
a  shell. 

27  February  Lieutenant-Colonel  A.  C.  McAlister  was  de- 
tached from  the  regiment  and  with  the  writer  as  Adjutant, 
assumed  command  of  a  force  of  about  six  hundred  men  and 
was  assigned  to  duty  in  the  counties  of  Randol]ili,  Chatham, 
Montgomery  and  Moore,  Nortli  Carolina.  This  force  was 
composed  of  the  Seventh  Xortli  Carolina,  ^lajor  James  G. 
ILii-ris  connnanding.  and  two  companies  each  from  the  Fif- 
teenth, Twenty-seventh,  Forty-sixth.  Forty-eighth  and  Fifty- 
fifth  Xorth  Carolina  Regiments,  designed  for  the  protection 
of  that  sectiitn  from  raiding  parties  of  the  enemy,  as  also  to 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  79 

preserve  order  in  enforcing  the  Conscript  Act.  This  force 
was  actively  emploved  until  General  Johnson's  army  arrived 
near  Greensboro,  when  it  was  attached  to  General  D.  H. 
Hill's  Division  until  paroled  by  General  Sherman. 

An  episode  of  this  bit  of  service  was  a  lively  engagement 
in  the  streets  of  Greensboro  with  a  portion  of  Wheeler's  dis- 
organized cavalry,  which  undertook  to  capture  the  Govern- 
ment stores  in  the  warehouses,  and  incidentally  the  town  gen- 
erally. The  cavalry  was  driven  out,  but  not  without  a  num- 
ber of  casualties  to  both  sides. 

By  reason  of  the  above  mentioned  detail  service,  the  writer 
can  give  no  particulars  of  the  regiment's  experience  from  Pe- 
tersburg to  Appomattox  from  personal  knowledge.  Those 
whose  duties  kept  them  at  the  front  near  Petersburg  state 
that  the  morning  when  Lee's  lines  near  Hatcher's  Run  were 
broken,  the  Forty-sixth,  with  the  balance  of  Cooke's  Brigade, 
retired  in  its  usual  good  order. 

On  the  retreat  to  Appomattox  its  experiences  were  those 
of  the  army  generally,  continued  fighting  and  starvation. 
Ever  ready  to  do  its  duty,  no  apparent  disaster,  however 
great  it  seemed,  shook  its  steady  column,  and  up  to  the  su- 
preme moment  at  Appomattox  its  unity  was  preserved,  its 
men,  those  whom  the  bullet  and  disease  had  spared,  an- 
swering promptly  "here,"  when  the  final  roll  call  was  had. 

At  Appomattox  the  remnant  of  this  band  of  heroes  laid 
down  their  arms  to  take  them  up  no  more  forever,  and  the 
Forty-sixth  Xorth  Carolina  passed  into  history  with  not 
one  member  who  but  feels  a  just  pride  in  its  record,  upon 
which  rests  no  blemish.  At  the  surrender  the  regiment  was 
commanded  by  Colonel  W.  L.  Saunders.  Its  strength  is  not 
recorded,  but  the  whole  Cooke's  Brigade  numbered  70  officers 
and  490  men.  Official  Records  Union  and  Confederate 
Armies,  Vol.  95,  p.  1278. 

Its  torn  and  tattered  battle  flag  which  waved  in  triumph 
over  many  a  bloody  scene,  was  never  lowered  until  by  order 
of  the  immortal  Lee  it  was  laid  down  forever,  but  not  in  dis- 
grace or  shame,  for  about  its  folds  shone  the  glories  of  Mal- 
vern Hill,  Harper's  Ferry,  Sharpsburg,  Fredericksburg,  Bris- 
toe,   Wilderness,    Spottsylvania,    Mechanicsville,    Cold   Har- 

80  NoKTH  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

bor,  White  Oak  Swamp,  Petersburg,  Eeams  Station,  Davis' 
Farm  and  Hatcher's  Run. 

]^ot  many  remain  to  tell  the  story  of  its  bivouacs,  marches 
and  battles,  its  patience  and  endurance,  its  hardships  and 
sufferings  for  three  years  of  hard  service  Soon  none  will 
remain,  but  its  glory  is  as  fadeless  as  is  that  of  "Lee's  Army," 
whose  fortunes  and  misfortunes  it  shared  to  the  end. 

(Compiled  mainh'  from  memory,) 

Company  A — R.  ]M.  Xorment,  Captain,  promoted,  succeed- 
ed by  Lieutenant  H.  R.  McKinney,  a  New  Yorker  by  birth, 
but  a  staunch  believer  in  States  Rights,  who  served  faithfully 
to  the  end,  wounded  several  times.  The  regiment  had  no  more 
capable  or  efficient  officer.  First  Lieutenant  Frank  M.  Wish- 
art,  for  many  months,  was  commander  of  the  regimental  skir- 
mish line.  (The  writer,  during  the  latter  months  of  the  war, 
w^as  intimately  associated  with  Lieutenant  Wishart,  then 
Captain  of  Company  B,  and  testifies  to  his  absolute  indiffer- 
ence to  danger  and  his  total  ignorance  of  fear,  laughing  and 
joking  under  fire  as  in  camp,  always  wanting  to  ''get  at  'em.") 
He  survived  the  war  only  to  be  treacherously  murdered  by 
Henry  Berry  Lowa-y.  Upon  the  promotion  of  Lieut.  Wishart 
to  Captaincy  of  Company  B,  his  brother,  Wellington  Wish- 
art, became  First  Lieutenant.  He  is  remembered  as  the 
most  silent  man  in  the  regiment,  and  as  brave  as  he  was  silent. 
Sergeant  J.  H.  Freeman  was  promoted  to  be  Second  Lieuten- 
ant and  John  Hammond  from  Ensign. 

Company  B — Captain  W.  L.  Saunders  having  been  ad- 
vanced to  a  Majority,  Lieutenant  IST.  1^.  Fleming  became 
Captain -and  served  as  such  until  his  death  on  the  field  at  the 
Wilderness,  when  Lieutenant  Frank  M.  Wishart,  of  Com- 
pany A,  was  elected  Captain,  serving  in  that  capacity  until 
the  close.  Second  Lieutenant  George  Horah,  having  been 
advanced  to  First  Lieutenancy,  was  instantly  killed  at  the 
Wilderness.  Sergeant  W.  B.  Lowrance  was  promoted  to 
Second  Lieutenant  and  was  transferred  to  another  regiment. 
James  T.  Pearson  and  John  J.  Stewart  were  also  promoted 
to  Lieutenant.     Quartermaster-Sergeant  J.  M.  Waddill  was 

Forty-Sixth  Regiment.  81 

promoted  to  be  Second  Lieutenant,  serving;  as  sucli  until  sent 
on  detached  service  under  Lieutenant-('olonel  A.  C.  McAlis- 

CoMPAXY  C — Upon  the  promotion  of  Captain  W.  A.  Jen- 
kins, Lieutenant  Stephen  W.  Jones  became  Captain,  serving 
gallantly  in  that  capacity  until  the  close.  Lieutenants,  W. 
A.  J.  Xicholson,  Samuel  M.  Southerland,  Leon  S.  Mabry, 
Thomas  R.  Price  and  Thomas  G.  Jenkins.  The  latter  two 
were  several  times  wounded  in  discharge  of  duty. 

Co:\rPAXY"  D — C^iptain  Colin  Stewart  was  with  his  com- 
pany in  the  one  capacity  from  the  organization  to  the  final 
ending,  and  (I  think)  never  received  a  wound.  Daniel  Stew- 
art and  S.  M.  Thomas  were  successively  First  Lieutenant, 
and  Hugh  Middleton,  Malloy  Patterson,  John  A.  McPhail 
and  John  W.  Roper  were  Second  Lieutenants. 

Company'  E — Captain  R.  J.  Mitchell  having  been  pro- 
moted to  Major,  Lieutenant  R.  L.  Hetlin  became  Captain, 
and  later  resigned,  being  succeeded  by  Lieutenant  Jesse  F. 
Heflin,  who  served  as  Captain  until  the  close — a  steady, 
brave,  capable  officer,  ever  at  his  post,  in  camp  or  field.  James 
Meadows,  First  Lieutenant,  resigned  and  was  succeeded  by 
Second  Lieutenant  J.  J.  Walker.  James  Wheeler,  John  C. 
Russell  and  Henry  C.  Latta  became  Second  Lieutenants. 

Co]MPAXY'  F — Captain  A.  C.  McAlister,  promoted  to  Ma- 
jor, Lieutenant  Thomas  A.  Branson  was  advanced  to  Cap- 
taincy, losing  his  life  on  the  field  at  Da\is'  Farm,  near  Peters- 
burg, 1864,  when  Sergeant  M.  M.  Teagiie,  a  gallant  young 
fellow,  was  promoted  Captain.  His  Lieutenants  were  J.  A. 
Spencer  and  R.  D.  McCotter.  James  A.  Marsh,  originally 
First  Lieutenant,  was  made  A.  Q.  M.  17  April,  1862.  Sam- 
uel P.  Weir,  killed  at  Fredericksburg,  was  Second  Lieutenant 
in  this  company. 

Company^  G — Upon  the  resignation  of  Captain  R.  P.  Troy, 
Lieutenant  O.  W.  Carr  was  advanced  to  Captain,  and  re- 
mained in  command  until  the  close — always  at  the  post  of 
duty,  alike  in  the  service  of  his  country  or  his  God.  Ransom 
H.  Steen,  First  Lieutenant,  was  succeeded  by  R.  S.  Small, 
and  T.  S.  Troy,  who  fell  at  the  Wilderness  and  was  suc- 
ceeded as  Second  Lieutenant  by  J.  W.  Brock,  killed  at  Ilatch- 

82  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

er's  Run  5  February,  1865,  and  Robert  W.  Stinson  also  killed 
at  Petersburg. 

CoMPAKY  H — The  promotion  of  Captain  'N.  McK.  Mc- 
Neill to  Major,  led  to  the  advance  of  Lieutenant  George  Wil- 
cox to  a  Captaincy,  serving  until  the  close.  Charles  C.  Gold- 
ston.  First  Lieutenant,  having  resigned,  J.  A.  Blue  suc- 
ceeded him  and  fell  at  the  Wilderness,  being  succeeded  by 
Lieutenant  N.  A.  McNeill,  who  also  shared  the  fortunes  of 
the  company  to  the  end.  John  N.  McNeill  became  Second 
Lieutenant  3  September,  1863. 

Company  I — Captain  Owen  Holmes  commanded  the  com- 
pany from  beginning  to  the  end — was  in  nearly  every  en- 
gagement, with  never  a  wound,  if  memory  is  not  at  fault. 
First  Lieutenant  O.  P.  White  has  (I  think)  the  same  unusual 
record.  John  C.  Wright,  Second  Lieutenant,  was  succeeded 
by  Thomas  Owens.  John  D.  Herring,  Minson  McLamb  and 
Isaiah  Herring  were  also  Second  Lieutenants. 

Company  K — ^Captain  A.  T.  Bost  (if  memory  be  not  at 
fault)  fell  at  Reams  Station,  and  was  succeeded  by  his 
brother,  R.  A.  Bost,  who,  as  Captain,  receiving  a  severe  face 
wound,  was  disabled  thereby.  No  steadier  men  ever  faced  a 
firing  line  than  these  two.  First  Lieutenant  A.  Routh  was 
mortally  wounded  while  charging  a  battery  at  Spottsylvania 
10  May,  1864.  Second  Lieutenant  M.  N.  Smyer  was  mor- 
tally wounded  at  Reams  Station  25  August,  1864.  Lieuten- 
ants J.  M.  Hoover  and  Sidney  Shuford  were  then  in  com- 
mand until  the  close. 

In  commenting  on  certain  names  here  mentioned,  it  will  be 
borne  in  mind  that  by  reason  of  longer  acquaintance  or  closer 
intimacy,  the  writer  knew  more  of  certain  ones  than  of  oth- 
ers. Some  company  officers  were  appointed  but  a  short  time 
before  the  writer  was  called  away  from  the  regiment,  and 
whom  he  knew  only  by  name. 

No  invidious  discrimination  is  intended,  for  it  is  distinctly 
remembered  that  no  officer  of  the  Forty-sixth  was  ever 
charged  with  doing  less  than  his  full  duty. 

J.  M.  Waddill. 
Gkeenvii.i-e.  i'^    C. , 

9  April.  1901. 

I  PUBLIC  LlSt^R?- 



1.  Sion  H.  Rogers,  Colonel.  4.    J.  J.  Thomas,  Captain  and  A.  Q.  M. 

2.  W.  C.  Lankford,  Lieul. -Colonel.  5.    John  H.  Thorp,  Captain,  Co.  A. 

3.  Campbell  T.  Iredell,  Captain,  Co.  C.      6     Geo.  W.  VVestray,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  A. 


By  JOHN  H.  THORP,  Captain  Company  A. 

In  March,  1862,  amid  the  rush  to  arms  of  North  Carolina 
volunteers,  the  1,200  men  wlio  made  the  aggregate  of  its  ten 
companies,  organized  the  Forty-seventh  North  Carolina  Reg- 

As  the  companies  were  coming  together,  New  Bern  was 
taken  by  the  Federal  General,  Euraside,  and  those  that  had 
arrived  at  Raleigh  were  sent,  without  guns,  below  Kinston 
under  Major  Sion  H.  Rogers,  to  assist  in  staying  the  Federal 
advance.  These  remained  there  a  week  or  two,  when  they  re- 
turned to  Raleigh,  and  with  the  other  companies,  now  ar- 
rived, completed  their  organization  with  Sion  H.  Rogers, 
Colonel ;  George  H.  Faribault,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  John 
A.  Graves,  Major. 

On  5  January,  1S63,  Rogers  resigned  to  become  Attorney- 
General  of  the  State,  when  Faribault  became  Colonel,  Graves 
Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  Archibald  D.  Crudup,  Captain  of 
Company  B,  became  Major.  Graves  was  wounded  and  cap- 
tured at  Gettysburg  3  July,  1863,  from  which  he  died;  Cru- 
dup became  Lieutenant-Colonel  March,  1864,  and  William 
C.  Lankford,  Captain  of  Company  F,  Major  at  the  same 
time.  Faribault  and  Crudup  were  wounded  and  the  first  re- 
signed January,  1865,  and  the  latter  in  August,  1864,  where- 
upon Lankford  became  Lieutenant-Colonel  and  continued  the 
only  field  officer.  Hence,  mainly  by  casualties  in  battle,  the 
regiment  was  scant  of  field  officers  during  very  much  of  its 
severest  trials,  and  frequently  was  without  one.  On  such  oc- 
casions it  was  led  through  hard-fought  battles  by  a  Captain, 
and  some  times  by  a  Lieutenant.  W.  S.  Lacy  was  Chaplain ; 
R.  A.  Patterson,  first,  and  after  him  Franklin  J.  White,  were 
Surgeons ;  J.  B.  Wiustead  and  Josiah  C.  Fowler,  Assistant 
Surgeons,  of  the  regiment.  Thomas  C.  Powell  was  Adju- 

84  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

CoMPAiNY  A — Nash  County — It  wa?  first  coiiiinanded  by 
Captain  John  W.  Bryan,  who  died  in  June,  1862,  when  Lieu- 
tenant John  II.  Thorp  became  Captain  and  commanded  to  the 
end  of  the  war.  The  Lieutenants  of  Company  A  were: 
George  W.  Westray,  who  was  kiUed  at  Cold  Harbor;  Wilson 
Baily,  who  died ;  Sidney  H.  Bridgers,  killed  at  Bristoe  Sta- 
tion ;  I>.  II.  Bunn  (since  menilx-r  of  United  States  Congress) 
and  Tlioiiias  Wostray. 

Company  B — Franklin  County — After  Crudup,  its  first 
Captain,  was  promoted,  Joseph  J.  Harris  was  made  Captain ; 
was  wounded,  captured  and  remained  a  prisoner.  Its  Lieu- 
tenants were  Harvey  D.  Griffin,  who  died ;  Sherrod  J.  Evans, 
Hugh  H.  Perrv  and  William  B.  Chamblee. 

Company  C — ^Vahe  County — The  first  Captain  of  Com- 
pany C  was  Edward  Hall,  who  died  1  September,  1862,  when 
Cameron  T.  Iredell  became  Captain,  was  killed  3  July,  1863, 
and  George  ^l.  Whiting  became  Captain,  taken  prisoner  at 
Gettysburg  and  died  after  the  war  of  disease  contracted  in 
prison.  The  Lieutenants  of  this  company  were  Xathaniel  L. 
Brown,  David  M.  Whitaker,  ]\larmaduk^  W.  Norfleet  and  A. 
H.  Harris. 

Company'  D — Nash  County- — John  A.  Harrison  was  first 
Captain  of  Company  D,  resigned  in  November,  1862,  and 
Lieutenant  Geo.  jST.  Lewis  became  Captain,  was  elected  to 
the  State  Legislature  in  August,  1864,  when  Richard  F. 
Drake  became  Captain.  Its  Lieutenants  were  Benjamin  F. 
Drake,  resigned  ;  William  H.  Blount  and  John  Q.  Winborne. 

Co:\rPANY'  E — Walxe  County — John  H.  Xorwood  was  the 
first  and  only  Captain  of  Company  E.  Its  Lieutenants 
were  Erastus  LI.  Ray,  Benj.  W.  Justice,  promoted  A.  C.  S. 
af  tlie  regiment;  Lconidas  W.  Robertson  and  William  A. 

Company  F — FranJclin  County — W.  C.  Lankford  was  the 
first  Captain  of  this  company,  and  when  he  was  promoted, 
Julius  S.  Joyner  became  Captain.  Its  Lieutenants  were 
J.  J.  Tliomas,  promoted  A.  Q.  M.  of  the  regiment;  Sylvanus 
P.  Gill,  W.  I).  Harris  (resigned)  and  H.  R.  Crichton. 

Company  G — Franl-Jin  and  Granville  Counties — Joseph 
J.  Davis  was  the  first  Ca])tain  of  Com])any  G,  and  was 
wounded,  captured  and  a  prisoner  3  July,  1863,  and  remain- 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  85 

ing  a  prisoner,  no  other  could  succeed  to  the  Captaincy.  Its 
Lieutenants  were  P.  P.  Peace,  Richard  F.  Yarborough,  pro- 
moted to  Colonelcy  of  another  regiment ;  W.  H.  Pleasants, 
George  D.  Tunstall  and  George  Williamson.  Captain  Davis 
was  afterwards  member  of  United  States  CongTess  and  Jus- 
tice of  our  Supreme  Court. 

Company  H — Wake  Cotmty — Charles  T.  Haughton,  first 
Captain  of  Company  H,  died  in  June,  1863,  when  Lieuten- 
ant Sydney  W.  Mitchell  became  Captain  and  was,  to  the 
close  of  the  war.  Its  Lieutenants  Avere  T.  L.  Lassiter,  Syd- 
ney A.  Hinton,  J.  D.  Xewsom  and  John  T.  Womble. 

Company'  I — Wal-e  County — I.  W.  Brown  was  the  first 
Captain  of  Company  I,  and  killed  at  Reams  Station.  Its 
Lieutenants  were  Charles  C.  Lovejoy,  transferred  to  another 
regiment;  William  Henry  Harrison,  J.  Wiley  Jones  and  J. 
Rowan  Rogers,  a  brother  of  the  first  Colonel  of  the  regi- 

Company  K — Alamance  County — Robert  H.  Faucette 
was  the  first  and  only  Captain  of  Company  K,  and  as  Senior 
Captain-  commanding  the  regiment,  signed  the  paroles  of  the 
commanders  of  companies  on  9  April,  1865.  Its  Lieuten- 
ants were  James  H.  Watson,  Thomas  Taylor,  Jacob  Boon 
and  Felix  L.  Poteat. 

After  a  short  stay  at  Camp  Mangaim,  in  Raleigh,  during 
which  time  it  was  drilled  incessantly,  the  regiment  was 
camped  between  Xew  Bern  and  Kinston,  where  several  weeks 
were  spent  in  guarding  our  outposts,  marching  to  near-by 
points  where  attacks  were  threatened,  but  never  escaping  to 
be  drilled  daily,  and  taught  the  duties  of  a  soldier  by  the 
never-tiring  General,  J.  G.  Martin.  It  was  here  the  men 
went  through  the  sick  period  consequent  upon  the  change 
from  civil  to  military  life ;  through  measles  and  mumps  and 
malarial  fevers,  from  which  quite  a  number  died.  Very  few 
escaped  sickness  in  passing  through  to  the  toughened  condi- 

At  this  time  the  predominant  desire  was  to  g'o  to  the  scenes 
being  enacted  around  Richmond,  where  General  Lee  and  his 
illustrious  co-generals  were  entering  on  that  career  which  as 

86  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

leaders  of  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia,  made  them  so 
famous.  But  the  boon  is  not  jet  gi^anted  us.  In  July  we  go 
to  Drewry's  Bluff,  at  this  time  a  position  that  must  be  held, 
and  General  Martin  goes  with  us,  and  carrying  us  into  a  hot 
field,  in  view  of  delightful  shade,  continues  his  incessant 
drilling  from  morning  till  night.  After  a  stay  of  three  weeks 
the  regiment  is  appropriately  made  provost  guard  of  Peters- 
burg. So  thoroughly  trained  itself,  it  efficiently  executed  the 
delicate  duties  of  guard  in  this  important  city,  then  a  mili- 
tary center.  During  its  stay  the  strongest  of  friendship  was 
formed  between  civilian  and  soldier.  Not  a  single  unpleas- 
ant incident  is  recalled. 

Early  in  November,  to  meet  a  threatened  attack,  we  were 
taken  to  Weldon,  where  we  took  our  first  snow  storm  in  camp 
without  covering  except  such  as  the  men  hastily  made  with 
bark  and  boughs  and  dirt. 

The  regiment  had  returned  to  Petersburg  when,  on  14 
December,  it  was  rushed  by  rail  to  Kinston  to  resist  the  Fed- 
eral General  Poster  in  his  attack  on  that  town.  We  arrived 
late  in  the  evening  just  as  the  Confederate  General,  Evans', 
Brigade  was  retreating  across  the  bridge  over  the  Neuse.  In 
a  jiffy  we  were  unloaded  from  the  cars,  which  Averc  run  of? 
immediately,  ordered  to  pile  our  knapsacks,  overcoats  and 
blankets,  which  we  never  heard  of  afterwards,  and  double- 
quicked  to  tlic  rescue.  As  Colonel  Rogers  formed  us  in  line  of 
battle.  General  Evans  learning  of  our  arrival,  ordered  us  to 
the  north  of  the  town  to  cover  the  retreat  of  his  brigade  which 
had  been  overpowered,  and  showing  our  full  regimental  front 
received  General  Foster's  messenger,  who  bore  his  demand  to 
surrender,  and  replied  :  ''Tell  General  Foster  I  will  fight  him 

Foster  did  not  come,  but  night  soon  did,  and  Ave  had  again 
escaped  a  battle.  At  nightfall  General  Evans  collected  his 
scattered  brigade  and  retreated  to  Falling  Creek.  The  next 
day  Company  A,  of  the  Forty-seventh,  reconnoitered  tAVO 
miles  toAvard  Kinston  Avithout  finding  the  enemy,  and  aftei* 
night  A  and  K  Avent  to  Kinston  to  learn  that  Foster  had  ad- 
vanced up  the  south  bank  of  the  Neuse.  He  attempted  to 
cross  at  White  Hall,  but  Avas  driven  back  and  continued  his 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  87 

march  toward  Goldsboro,  to  which  the  Forty-seventh  was 
inarched  on  the  following  day.  On  our  arrival  at  Goldsboro 
we  were  marched  across  the  county  bridge  and  formed  line  of 
battle,  in  which  we  remained  all  this  cold  December  night, 
to  find  at  light  that  Foster  had  retreated  and  was  now  far 

A  few  days  afterwards  the  regiment  is  on  Blackwater  un- 
der General  Roger  A,  Prior,  protecting  Eastern  Virginia. 
I^ow  for  rigid  marching.  Every  day  marching  thirty  miles. 
All  foot  logs  and  small  bridges  are  cut  away  ahead  of  us  that 
the  men  may  lose  no  time  in  breaking  from  column  of  four, 
and  we  must  take  the  mud  and  water  in  the  roads  through 
this  boggy  section.  And  so,  as  we  had  been  perfected  in  the 
drill  and  tactics  by  Martin,  we  were  now  Romanised  by 
Prior.  Frequently  during  this  time  a  battle  was  immo- 
nent,  but  one  did  not  occur.  It  was  skirmishing,  retreat- 
ing, advancing  on  another  distant  point,  over  a  large  extent 
of  territory  to  keep  the  6nemy  pushed  within  his  limited 


Thus  inured  to  the  vicissitudes  of  war,  except  actual 
battle,  the  Forty-seventh  was,  early  in  1863,  brigaded  with 
the  Eleventh,  Twenty-sixth,  Forty -fourth  and  Fifty-second, 
under  that  splendid  General,  J.  Johnston  Pettigrew,  and  re- 
turned to  Eastern  Xorth  Carolina.  The  points  of  Rocky 
Mount,  Magnolia  and  Goldsboro,  as  they  Avere  threatened, 
were  quickly  covered,  and  thence  we  were  marched  in  D.  H. 
Hill's  army  to  the  vicinity  of  New  Bern,  which  town  Hill 
threatened.  Here  about  the  middle  of  March,  1863,  after  a 
forced  march  of  several  days  in  bleak  winter,  Pettigrew,  in 
the  early  dawn,  drove  in  the  enemy's  pickets  and  passed  one 
of  his  block  houses,  which  protected  !N^ew  Bern,  but  by  failure 
of  other  troops  to  co-operate  time  Avas  lost  and  the  enemy  got 
one  of  his  gunboats  in  action,  Avith  wliich  our  brigade  was 
terribly  shelled.  PettigrcAv  being  unable  to  reply  with  can- 
non, or  to  cross  the  Avater  Avith  his  infantry,  Avithdrew  his  bri- 
gade in  regiments  by  echelon  in  such  masterly  manner,  the 
men  exhibiting  the  utmost  coolness,  that  not  a  man  Avas  lost, 

88  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

though  the  retreat  was  a  long  waj  over  an  open,  level  field. 
Soon  after  this  we  went  to  Greenville  and  thence  to  Wash- 
ington, crossing  the  Tar  in  canoes  in  high  water,  when  the 
regiment  threatened  the  town  and  waked  np  the  enemy's 
gnnboats  again ;  we  lost  one  man  killed  and  several  wounded. 

But  the  main  oliject,  on  the  part  of  the  Confederate  au- 
thorities, of  these  operations  in  Eastern  jSTorth  Carolina,  to- 
wit :  to  gather  in  the  supplies  of  this  rich  section,  having  been 
accomplished  and  General  Lee  making  preparations  for  his 
second  invasion,  Pettigrew's  Brigade,  early  in  May,  1863, 
became  a  part  of  Heth's  Division  in  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps. 

Thus  after  more  than  a  year,  perhaps  well  occupied,  both 
in  doing  arduous,  but  less  conspicuous  service  as  in  be- 
coming thoroughly  efficient  for  the  sterner  activities  of  ac- 
tual battle,  the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  is  at  length,  and 
henceforth  to  the  end,  will  be  with  the  Army  of  JSTorthern 
Virginia.  It  was  well  it  had  a  thorough  training,  for  soon 
it  was  to  go  tlir(^ugh  fiery  trials,  its  ranks  to  be  torn  by  shot 
and  shell,  to  be  depleted  of  its  officers,  leaving  it  to  be  led  in 
great  emergencies  by  a  Captain,  and  the  companies  some 
times  by  a  private.  Whenever  and  wherever  tried  it  was 
equal  to  the  emergency.  It  responded  with  promptness  to 
the  command  "Charge!"  to  the  very  end. 

It  was  early  in  May,  1863,  when  we  arrived  at  Hanover 
Junction,  thence  we  marched  to  Fredericksburg,  thence  to 
Culpepper  Court  House,  across  the  Blue  Ridge  mountains, 
through  Winchester,  and  crossed  the  Potomac  at  Shepherds- 
town.  On  the  nortli  bank  of  the  Potomac  the  disciplinarian, 
Pettigrew,  delivered  his  strict  commands  against  interfering 
with  private  rights  and  property,  and  right  well  were  these 
commands  obeyed.  As  we  passed  through  Hagerstown,  the 
eyes  of  our  men  were  dazed  l)y  the  fullness  of  an  opulent  city, 
but  no  one  dared  to  loot  it.  On  20  June  we  camped  near 
(~^ashtown,  and  on  the  30th  were  marching  rapidly  into  Get- 
tysburg with  the  avowed  object  of  shoeing  our  bai'efooted 
men.  Already  the  non-combatants  had  gotten  (as  they 
always  do  when  danger  is  far  off)  to  the  front,  and  we  were 
almost  at  o\ir  destination  when  a  person  in  citizen's  dress, 
on  a  farm  horse,  rode  leisurely  from  the  adjacent  woods  up 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  89 

to  the  fence,  on  the  other  side  of  ^^'hich  we  were  moving,  in- 
quired for  onr  commander,  and  paced  up  to  the  head  of  our 
column.  On  his  arrival  there  the  command  ''Haiti"  rang 
down  our  line.  Was  this  a  spy  ?  ''About  face — quick  time, 
march  I"  and  back  we  went ;  but  not  without  several  shots  at 
long  range  being  fired  at  us  from  both  sides  of  the  road.  So 
we  escaped  the  ambuscade  that  had  been  set  for  us. 


Early  on  1  July  the  Forty-seventh  was  in  the  line  which 
opened  the  battle  of  Gettysl)urg.  It  is  rememlxn-ed  that 
Company  A  had  eighty-two  trigger  pullers,  each  with  forty 
rounds  of  ammunition,  and  the  other  companies  were  per- 
haps as  large.  The  morale  of  the  men  was  splendid,  and 
when  it  advanced  to  its  first  grand  charge  it  was  with  the 
feelings  of  conquerors.  We  were  met  by  a  furious  storm  of 
shells  and  canister  and  further  on  by  the  more  destructive 
rifles  of  the  two  army  corps  confronting  us.  One  shell  struck 
the  right  company,  killing  three  men,  and  exploding  in  the 
line  of  file  closers,  by  the  concussion,  felled  to  the  earth  every 
one  of  them.  The  other  companies  were  faring  no  Ijetter. 
Still  our  line,  without  a  murmur,  advanced,  delivering  its 
steady  fire  amid  the  rebel  yells,  and  closed  with  the  first  line 
of  the  enemy.  After  a  desperate  struggle  this  yielded  and 
the  second  line  was  met  and  quickly  l)roken  to  pieces.  The 
day  was  a  hot  one,  and  the  men  liad  difficulty  in  ramming 
down  their  cartridges,  so  slick  was  the  iron  ram-rod  in 
hands  thoroughly  wet  with  perspiration.  All  expedients  were 
resorted  to,  but  mainly  jabbing  the  ram-rods  against  the 
ground  and  rocks.  This,  with  the  usual  causes,  undressed 
our  advancing  line;  still  all  were  yelling  and  pressing  for- 
ward througli  the  growing  wlieat  breast  high,  toward  a  body 
of  the  enemy  in  sight,  l)ut  beyond  the  range  of  our  guns, 
when  suddenly  a  third  line  of  the  enemy  arose  forty  yards  in 
front,  as  if  by  magic,  and  leveled  their  shining  line  of  gim- 
barrels  on  the  wheat  heads.  Though  taken  by  surprise  the 
roar  of  our  giins  sounded  along  our  whole  line.  We  had 
caught  the  drop  on  them.  Redoubled  our  yells  and  a  rush, 
and   the   work   is    done.     The   earth   just    seemed    to    open 

90  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

and  take  in  that  line  which  five  minutes  ago  was  so  perfect. 

Just  then  a  Federal  officer  came  in  view  and  rode  rapidly 
forward  bearing  a  large  Federal  flag.  The  scattered  Fed- 
erals swarmed  around  him  as  bees  cover  their  queen.  In  the 
midst  of  a  heterogeneous  mass  of  men,  acres  big,  he  approach- 
ed our  left,  when  all  guns  in  front  and  from  right  and  left 
turned  on  the  mass  and  seemingly  shot  the  whole  to  pieces. 
This  hero  was  a  Colonel  Biddle,  who  (if  he  were  otherwise 
competent)  deserved  to  command  a  corps.  It  was  with  gen- 
uine and  openly  expressed  pleasure  our  men  heard  he  was  not 
killed.  The  day  is  not  ended,  but  the  fighting  in  our  front  is 
over,  and  the  Forty-seventh  dressed  its  line  and  what  re- 
mained of  it  marching  to  the  place  whence  it  started  on  the 
charge,  bivouacked  for  the  night,  intoxicated  with  victory. 
Many  were  the  incidents  narrated  on  that  beautiful,  moon- 
light night. 

On  the  2d  we  were  not  engaged  save  in  witnessing  the  mar- 
shaling of  hosts,  with  much  fighting  during  the  day,  and  at 
night  a  grand  pyrotechnic  display,  this  being  the  struggle  on 
the  slope  of  Little  Round  Top  for  the  possession  of  the  hill. 

On  3  July  the  Forty-seventh  was  put  in  the  front  line  pre- 
paring to  make  that  celebrated,  but  imprudent  charge,  famil- 
iarly called  Pickett's  charge,  though  just  why  called  Pickett's 
instead  of  Pettigrew's  charge,  is  not  warranted  by  the  facts. 
And  why  it  has  been  said  that  PettigrcAv  supported  Pickett 
instead  of  Pickett  supported  Pettigrew,  is  also  incompre- 
hensible. It  is  certain  that  the  two  divisions  (PettigreAV  led 
Heth's  Division  to-day)  started  at  the  same  time,  in  the  same 
line.  Pickett's  distance  to  traverse  was  shorter  than  that  of 
Pettigrew.  Both  went  to  and  over  the  enemy's  breastworks, 
but  were  too  weak  from  loss  of  numbers  to  hold  them.  Pick- 
ett's Division  was  perfectly  fresh.  Pettigi'ew's  had  just 
passed  through  1  July  in  which  even  its  commander  (Heth) 
had  been  knocked  out. 

If  further  witness  be  sought,  the  respective  numbers  of 
dead  men  in  the  correctly  recorded  spots  where  they  fell,  sup- 
ply it.  But  let  it  be  distinctly  understood  Pettigrew's  men 
appreciate  that  it  was  not  the  brave  Pickett  and  liis  men,  who 
claimed  for  themselves  pre-eminence  in  this  bloody  affair. 




k)  ^ 

1'^/  >^ 




1.  J.  D.  Newsom,  2d  IJeut ,  Co.  I. 

2.  J.  Wilie  Jones,  2(1  Lieut.,  Co.  I. 

3.  J.  Rowan  Rogers,  2(1  Lieut.,  Co.  I. 

4.  Thomas  Westray,  2(i  Lieut.,  Co  A. 

5.  B.  H.  Buim,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  A. 

George  B.  Moore,  Sei'tjeant,  Co.  C. 
Luke  E.  Estes,  Private,  Co  E. 
Jolin  Wesley  Bradford,  Private,  Co.  G. 
(Picture    in    Supplementary  Group, 
4tli  volume.) 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  91 

They  remember,  vividly  remember,  how  Pickett  chafed  while 
waiting  to  make  his  spring,  like  an  untamed  lion  for  hia 
prey.  Perhaps  the  assault  was  a  Confederate  mistake.  So 
good  an  authority  as  General  Lee  is  quoted  as  saying  this 
much,  but  that  the  stakes  for  which  he  was  playing  was  so 
great  (it  being  Harrisburg,  Baltimore  and  Washington)  he 
just  could  not  help  it.  Later  a  similar  excuse  was  plead  by 
General  Grant  for  the  slaughter  at  Second  Cold  Harbor.  The 
late  Captain  Davis,  ''Honest  Joe,"  who  led  Company  B  in 
this  charge,  and  who  charged  over  the  enemy's  breastworks 
and  became  a  prioner,  said  the  enemy  was  literally  torn  to 
pieces.  But,  then  our  "hind  sights  are  better  than  our  fore- 
sights." And  may  be,  after  all  the  best  conclusion  is  that  a 
kind  Providence  had  heard  the  prayers  for  the  Union  that 
has  ascended  from  both  sides,  though  uttered  not  so  loud 
from  the  South,  and  in  answer,  just  wrote  doAvn  in  the  book 
of  Fate:  "Gettysburg,  3  July,  1863,  the  beginning  of  the 
end."  The  writer,  who  was  in  the  line  of  sharpshooters 
which  preceded  the  main  line  of  battle,  witnessed  an  incident 
which  (although  not  belonging  to  the  Forty-seventh  Regi- 
ment) ought  to  be  recorded.  Lie  saw  Brigadier-General  Jas. 
H.  Lane,  on  horseback,  quite  near  the  stone  wall,  riding  just 
behind  and  up  to  his  men,  in  the  attitude  of  urging  them 
forward  with  his  hand  ;  a  moment  later  a  large  spurt  of  blood 
leaped  from  the  horse  as  he  rode  up,  and  rider  and  horse 
went  down  in  the  smoke  and  uproar.  This  was  about  the 
time  of  the  climax  of  the  battle  when  darkness  and  chaos 
obscured  what  followed. 

Surely  the  rank  and  tile  of  the  army  of  Xorthern  Vir- 
ginia did  not  realize  the  bigness  of  the  event  that  had  just 
happened ;  nor  can  we  believe  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  did, 
inasmuch  as  it  behaved  so  nicely  while  we  spent  several  days 
in  the  same  neighborhood. 

The  Forty-seventh  now  had  had  its  ups  and  its  downs.  On 
the  1st  as  it  double-quicked  on  Reynold,  it  had  an  equal 
chance  with  the  enemy  and  had  hurled  80,000  bullets  in  their 
faces.  On  the  3d  they  had  attempted  to  march  1,000  yards 
in  quick  time  through  a  raking  fire  of  cannon  and  minies, 
with  virtually  no  chance  to  use  their  minies — a   soldier's 

92  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

main  weapon.  The  skeleton  of  its  foniier  self  it  returned  to 
the  ])lace  Avhence  it  l)eo-an  its  charo-c  and  l)eg'an  business  with- 
out a  held  (tthcer,  and  duriiiii"  tlie  balance  of  the  day  and  the 
succeeding-  night  welcomed  the  retuni  of  several  of  our  mem- 
bers who,  miscatlied  or  Avounded  in  various  degrees,  crawled 
from  the  field  of  cariuige,  for  the  space  between  the  armies 
continued  neutral  ground,  being  covered  bv  the  wounded  of 
both.  On  the  -itli  General  Pettigrew  t(dd  us  that  had  we 
succeeded  the  evening  before,  no  doul)t  onr  army  would  have 
been  on  the  road  to  Washington  and  ])erhaps  negotiations  for 
peace  would  then  be  on  foot.  Surely  the  c'6-prit  de  corps  of  our 
regiment  was  undaunted. 

On  the  night  of  the  4tli  we  moved  off  leisurely  toward 
Funktown,  where  we  stood  up  on  the  11th  to  meet  a  threat- 
ened attack  which  did  not  materialize,  and  on  the  14th  were 
in  the  rear  guard  of  the  army  at  Falling  Waters  to  cover  the 
crossing  of  the  Potonuic.  Here  a  drunken  squad  of  Federal 
cavalry  rashly  rode  on  us  while  resting.  Of  course  they  were 
dispatched  at  once,  but  in  the  melee  General  Pettigrew  re- 
ceived a  pistol  ball  in  the  stomach  from  which  he  died  in  a 
day  or  two.  Major  John  T.  Jones,  of  the  Twenty-sixth,  was 
now  the  only  field  officer  left  to  the  brigade,  and  as  we  began 
to  retire  to  cross  the  river  the  enemy  furiously  charged  up 
and  took  quite  a  nund^er  of  prisoners  mainly  by  cutting  our 
men  ofF  from  the  pontoon  liridge. 


A  few  daA'S  rest  was  taken  at  Bunkei'  Hill,  tlience  we 
marched  to  Orange  Court  ILaise,  where  we  recu])erate(l  rap- 
idly by  the  return  of  those  who  had  been  wounded  and  a 
goodly  number  of  recruits  from  home.  So  that  on  14  Oc- 
tober the  Forty-seventh  carried  (piite  a  strong  foi-ce  into  the 
battle  of  Bristoe  Station.  In  this  battle  Kirkland's  and 
Cooke's  Brigades,  being  in  the  van  of  Lee's  army,  overtook 
Warren's  Corps  of  ^leade's  retreating  army,  and  without 
awatiug  reinforcements  made  a  furious  attack  against  it  thor- 
o\ighly  entrencli(Ml.  This  was  a  gross  Idunder  on  the  ])art  of 
our  corps'  general   (  A.   P.   Hill)   who  sent  ns  in.      Let  it  be 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  93 

recalled  that  the  gi-ciimd  over  which  we  charged  sloped  down  to 
the  railroad  embankment  behind  which  were  the  enemy's  in- 
fantry, and  sloped  np  from  their  infantry  to  their  artillery. 
Under  these  circumstances  their  artillery  would  have  driven 
back  any  infantry  in  indefinite  numbers.  Of  course  we  were 
repulsed  with  heavy  loss.  An  incident  in  this  fight  was 
that  the  skirmishers  of  the  Forty-seventh,  forty  strong,  in 
going  in  this  charge,  saw  a  space  of  the  enemy's  front,  not 
reached  by  the  left  of  our  advancing  line,  passed  the  front  of 
the  Eleventh  or  left  regiment,  and  filled  the  space.  The 
ground  was  more  favorable  for  us  on  this  end  of  the  line, 
and  the  Eleventh  and  the  skirmishers  of  the  Forty-seventh 
captured  the  breastworks  with  the  enemy  behind  them.  The 
Confederates  here  were  herding  the  enemy  in  squads  to  send 
them  to  the  rear  as  prisoners,  when  the  rest  of  the  line  l)eing 
repulsed,  these  too,  were  compelled  to  retire.  Our  loss  was 
heavy,  including  General  Kirkland  among  the  wounded.  As 
on  3  July,  at  Gettysburg,  we  fell  back  to  the  point  from  which 
we  started  the  charge,  and  for  the  same  reason  as  on  that  day 
could  not  bring  off  our  wounded  who  lay  on  the  field  of  bat- 
tle all  night.  The  next  morning,  General  Meade  having 
made  good  his  retirement  on  the  fortifications  at  Manassas, 
we  returned  to  the  Rapidan.  Here  and  at  Orange  Court 
House  we  wintered  without  military  incident,  save  in  fre- 
quent manoeuvering ;  ^feade  and  Lee,  like  two  big  bulls,  each 
trying  to  put  his  head  into  the  other's  flank,  and  once  at 
Vidiers^'ille  an  imminent  battle  was  avoided  by  the  two  gen- 
erals doing  like  the  king  of  France  who,  ''with  40,000  men, 
marched  up  the  hill  and  then  marched  down  again."  The 
Forty-seventh  lost  a  man  or  two  at  Vidiersville  by  the  en- 
emy's artillery. 

The  health  of  the  men  of  the  Forty-seventh  is  excellent, 
perhaps  in  part,  because  of  short  rations,  and  by  the  spring 
the  regiment  is  pretty  full  again  by  returning  convalescents 
and  recruits  from  home. 

General  Grant  is  now  in  command  of  the  Army  of  the  Po- 
tomac, and  by  his  hammering  process  proposes  "to  fight  it 
out  on  that  line  if  it  takes  all  summer,"  which  summer  ran 
sharply  into   the  following  spring.      General   Kirkland  has 

94  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

returned  to  the  command  of  the  brigade,  and  Colonel  Fari- 
bault to  the  command  of  the  Forty-seventh. 


On  5  May,  1864,  Grant  moved  out  on  Mine  llun  and  the 
Forty-seventh  Regiment  deployed  as  skirmishers  in  the  van 
of  Lee's  army,  opens  the  battle,  beginning  with  that  of  the 
Wilderness  and  continuing  (with  little  intemiission  in  the 
winter)  till  9  April,  1865. 

We  first  struck  the  enemy's  cavalry,  dismounted,  and  grad- 
ually pushed  them  back  over  five  miles,  during  which  we  now 
and  then  lost  a  man,  till  the  middle  of  the  evening,  Avhen  we 
came  up  to  Cooke's  Brigade  just  engaging  the  enemy's  in- 
fantry in  the  tangled  brush,  the  battle  of  the  Wilderness.  The 
Forty-seventh  went  in  and  mingled  with  Cooke's  men  in  the 
fight,  and  so  severe  was  the  rifle  fire  and  the  opposing  armies 
so  near  each  other  that  neither  advanced  on  the  other.  The 
night  was  spent  in  this  position,  and  lines  were  not  put  in  or- 
der; our  men  having  been  ordered  to  rest,  as  Longstreet's 
Corps  was  to  relieve  Hill's  during  the  night.  Longstreet  did 
not  arrive,  and  at  dawn  the  enemy  having  ascertained  our  dis- 
ordered condition,  promptly  advanced.  Our  men  began 
to  retreat  sullenly,  and  fighting  back  at  first,  but  as  the 
day  grew  on  our  confusion  increased  until  about  10  o'clock, 
when  we  met  the  welcome  Longstreet.  This  splendid  Corps 
came  into  line  of  battle  by  the  order  of  "By  the  right  of  com- 
panies into  line,"  and  without  any  halt  continued  their  ad- 
vance in  the  face  of  the,  'till  now,  victorious  Federals.  It 
was  a  terrific  battle  in  which  the  Confederates  pushed  the 
Federals  over  the  same  ground  tliey  had  taken  in  the  morn- 
ing, mingling  vast  numbers  of  dead  Federals  among  the  Con- 
federates slain  a  few  hours  before.  The  Forty-seventh  lost 
no  prisoners  in  this  battle,  but  heavily  in  killed  and  wounded. 

On  the  10th  the  Forty-seventh  was  prominent  in  the  battle 
of  Wait's  Shop,  when  General  Early  pressed  Hancock  back 
across  the  river  after  an  engagement  of  several  hours,  wherein 
the  Confederates  advanced  steadily,  the  Federals  retreating 
Avithout  much  resistance.  This  was  a  battle  in  Avhioh  the 
powder  used  far  exceeded  a  commensurate  loss  of  men  on 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  95 

either  side.  The  loss  of  the  Forty-seventh  was,  perhaps, 
twenty.  But  the  object  of  the  Confederates  was  effected. 
Hancock  left  the  important  place  at  which  he  tried  to  break 
through  our  lines. 

On  the  12th  at  Spottsylvania  the  Forty-seventh  was  but 
slightly  engaged.  It  supported  our  artillery  which  did  great 
havoc  near  the  bloody  angle. 

The  succeeding  fifteen  days  the  regiments  was  more  or 
less  engaged,  some  of  it  at  least  being  under  daily  fire,  under 
which  we  seemed  to  grow  stronger. 


On  1  June  Kirkland's  and  Cooke's  Brigades  were  desper- 
ately charged  behind  breastworks.  The  Forty-seventh  was  in 
splendid  fighting  trim  on  this  occasion,  and  as  the  enemy 
started  across  an  open  field  the  order  was  given  us  not  to  fire 
until  a  certain  cannon  fired,  and  company  commanders  were 
to  order  the  fire  by  file.  The  Federal  officers  threw  them- 
selves in  front  of  their  men  and  most  gallantly  led  them,  but 
when  the  cannon  sounded  the  signal,  our  deadly  fire  opened 
on  them  within  fifty  yards  and  it  was  so  steady  and  accurate, 
for  our  men  were  perfectly  cool,  that  before  the  companies 
had  fired  a  round,  the  enemy  was  completely  broken  and 
routed,  a  large  number  of  them  killed  and  wounded.  Our  loss 
was  almost  nothing  as  the  enemy,  depending  on  giving  us  the 
bayonet,  withheld  their  fire,  until  they  were  repulsed.  The 
sharpshooters  of  the  two  brigades,  having  previously  been  or- 
dered, rushed  after  and  harrassed  their  rear  for  two  miles. 
This  was  the  battle  of  Bethesda  Church,  and  amid  the  tre- 
mendous events  occurring,  was  the  occasion  of  a  dispatch 
from  General  Lee  to  the  Secretary  of  War  complimenting  the 
two  brigades. 

While  the  sharpshooters  were  pursuing,  the  main  body  of 
the  two  brigades  was  ordered  off  towards  Cold  Harbor  and 
participated  in  another  battle  at  that  place  the  same  even- 
ing. In  this  last  fight  in  which  the  Confederates  charged 
the  enemy  out  of  their  good  breastworks,  General  Kirkland 
was  again  wounded  and  did  not  return  to  this  command. 
General  William  MacBae  succeeded  to  the  command  of  our 

96  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

bi"ii;;i(k'  al)out  rliis  lime,  and  tlii'nuiili  every  vicissitude  proved 
the  equal  of  any  brigadier  in  tlie  army,  (^uite  a  nnniber  of 
the  men  of  the  Forty-seventh  were  killed  and  wounded  in  the 

General  lletli,  with  his  division,  remaiue<l  on  the  ground 
taken  that  night,  fortihed  aiul  a\\aite(|  lo-moi'i'ow.  Karly 
on  to-morrow  the  enemy  massed  a  host  in  our  front  and  at- 
tem])ted  to  break  through  lis  all  day.  They  were  in  the 
Avoods,  we  on  the  edge  of  it  with  a  small  field  liehind  us.  This 
enabled  them  to  get  very  near  tis,  perhaps  forty  to  sixty  yards, 
and  we  learned  l)y  sound  rather  than  by  sight,  \yhen  they 
arose  to  charge,  and  kept  them  in  check  by  shooting  in  the 
direction  of  their  noise,  as  they  would  attem]~»t  to  encourage 
their  men.  It  was  literally  an  all-day  aifair.  .Vmong  our 
other  embarrassments  we  were  nearly  surrounded,  and  once 
when  the  enemy's  cannon  sent  a  shell  from  our  i-car  and  our 
men  had  craned  their  necks,  General  Heth  coolly  comman<led 
an  aid  "to  go  stop  that  battery — tell  them  they  are  firing  into 
my  men."  Fortune  was  propitious,  and  they  did  stop,  doubt- 
less, because  they  could  suppose  their  own  men  tO'  be  fired  into 
by  their  slielling,  so  close  were  we  together.  Our  loss  was 
considerable  during  the  day,  but  at  length  night  came.  At 
dark  a  detail  collected  every  canteen  and  bayonet  and  took 
them  out,  and  as  soon  as  it  was  dark  good,  we  silently  stole 
away  by  the  only  outlet  left  us. 

From  Cold  Harbor  we  went  to  Gaines'  ^Mill,  just  after 
Hoke  had  repulsed  the  enemy  at  that  place,  infiicting  heavy 
loss.  From  Gaines'  Mill  we  crossed  the  Chickahominy. 
Thence  about  the  middle  of  Jtme  we  crossed  the  James  and 
a  few  days  after  the  Appomattox  riv(>rs,  and  our  division 
took  position  on  the  extreme  right  of  General  Lee's  long  line 
of  defense  extending  from  the  Chickah<iminy  to  Hatcher's 
Kun.  a  distance  of  about  thii'ty-five  miles. 

Hatcher's  Kun  ami  its  vicinity  are  henceforth  to  be  tlie 
scene  of  our  operations,  and  it  was  around  this  flank  and  in 
this  vicinity  that  General  Grant  did  most  of  his  hammering, 
an<l  near  here  he  finally  broke  throngh  Lee's  linos  to  begin 
the    A])pomattox   campaign. 

Once,  in  July,  our  division  recrossed  the  A]ipomattox  to 

Forty-Seventh  1\egiment.  97 

meet  Grant's  feigned  attack  on  the  north  of  the  river,  when 
the  episode  of  the  crater,  on  30  July,  took  place. 

On  21  August  our  division  was  a  part  of  the  attacking 
column  to  dislodge  Warren's  Fifth  Corps  from  the  Weldon 
Railroad.  For  about  two  days  before  and  two  after  this  date, 
the  Forty-seventh  was  under  almost  daily  fire,  in  which  series 
of  fights  it  lost  several  killed  and  wounded. 

KEAMS    station. 

On  25  August  MacHae's,  with  Lane's  and  Cooke's  Bri- 
gades distinguished  themselves  in  the  battle  of  Reams  Sta- 
tion. Hancock  had  fortified  this  place  and  other  Southern 
troops  had  failed  to  dislodge  him,  when  these  Xorth  Caroli- 
nians were  assigned  the  honor  of  doing  so.  MacRae  pointed 
out  to  his  men  how  they  could  approach  under  the  protection 
of  an  old  field  of  pines,  and  we  imagine  the  heretofore  trium- 
phant Federals  must  have  smiled  as  they  beheld  the  small 
force  adA^ancing  against  them,  and  intended  to  withhold  their 
fire  mitil  we  should  reach  a  point  from  which  we  might  be 
unable  to  escape.  Suddenly  MacRae  ordered :  ''Don't  fire  a 
gun,  but  dash  for  the  enemy."  The  dash  was  made,  and  be- 
hold the  assault  is  successful.  The  result  is  several  flags  and 
cannon,  a  large  number  killed  and  wounded,  and  2,100  pris- 
oners. A  Federal  officer,  as  he  sat,  a  surprised  prisoner,  re- 
marked to  one  of  our  officers:  "Lieutenant,  your  men  fight 
well;  that  was  a  magnificent  charge."  The  loss  in  the  Forty- 
seventh  was  heavy,  and  it  included  an  over-proportion  of  our 
very  best  men.  This  was  notably  so  in  Company  A.  Men  who 
seemed  to  have  possessed  charmed  lives ;  who  struck  so  quick, 
and  were  so  cool  and  daring  to  pass  the  danger  line,  were 
struck  down  almost  in  a  body.  Many  of  them  returned  after 
recovery,  but  the  regiment  was  notably  weakened  after  this. 

On  30  September  General  Heth  attacked  two  corps  of 
Federals  trying  to  extend  to  our  right,  near  the  Pegram 
house,  and  captured  quite  a  number  of  prisoners.  On  1  and 
2  October  the  effort  to  extend  continued  and  we  continued  to 
resist  it ;  but  after  several  days  doggedly  fighting  and  putting 
in  fresh  troops,  they  succeeded  and  fortified  themselves.  It 

98  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'05. 

was  Grant's  way,  a  continual  extending  his  left  with  fresh 
troops  and  making  his  line  impregnable  with  the  spade  and 


On  the  27th  the  enemy  again  felt  for  oiir  right  flank,  and 
at  Burgess'  jMill  General  MacRae's  Brigade  assaulted  them, 
repulsing  the  full  length  of  his  line  of  battle,  taking  a  battery 
of  artillery  and  passing  far  to  the  front,  discovered  that  the 
enemy  were  closing  from  both  his  flanks  the  gap  he  had  just 
made.  MacRae  was  on  foot  leading  his  command,  and  point- 
ing to  the  perilous  situation,  asked  them  to  follow  him  out, 
which  they  gallantly  did  by  cutting  their  way  out.  Our  loss 
here  was  very  heavy  in  killed  and  wounded,  but  none  were 
taken  prisoners.  Hill's  Corps  took  a  great  number  of  prison- 
ers. ^lacRae  complained  bitterly  about  his  superiors  in  com- 
mand allowing  him  to  be  cut  to  pieces  when  it  could  have 
been  prevented. 

Winter  had  now  set  in,  and  the  men  settled  down  with  some 
degree  of  comfort  in  their  rudely  constructed  quarters.  Some 
attended  religious  worship  by  our  Chaplain.  The  regiment 
in  early  1864  had  a  good  Young  Men's  Christian  Associa- 
tion, but  no  sign  of  it  was  visible  at  the  close  of  the  cam- 
paign— the  members  of  it  having  been  knocked  out.  Some 
who  could  raise  a  Confederate  dollar  went  to  the  theatre  ;  yes, 
we  had  a  theatre  in  Davis'  Brigade,  built  of  logs  with  a  dirt 
floor  and  log  seats,  and  such  capers  the  soldier  comedians  and 
tragedians  cut  by  torch  light,  and  music  by  banjo  and  the 
fiddle!  Tt  was  said  the  theatrical  company  made  money. 
Camp  life,  however,  in  the  winter  of  1864-'65  was  a  hard 
one,  and  upon  the  whole  a  very  sad  one.  These  old  soldiers 
of  many  battle  fields,  though  they  murmured  not,  knew  a 
gi*eat  deal,  and  a  few  who  supposed  they  could  bear  no  more 
deserted  to  the  enemy,  who  stood  with  outstretched  ai-ms  to 
welcome  tliem.  The  Forty-seventh  furnished  very  few  of 
this  class. 

As  General  Grant  received  a  steady  flow  of  reinforcements 
he  invariablv  sent  them  to  extend  his  left  and  in  the  severest 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  99 

weather  tlie  Forty-seventh  was  several  times  called  out  to 
resist  the  extension. 

One  of  these  was  on  5  February,  1865.  It  was  sleeting 
and  very  cold  when  a  large  force  of  Federals  again  moved 
around  our  right  to  sever  our  communications.  The  Forty- 
seventh  formed  a  part  of  the  attacking  force  which  was  suc- 
cessful in  driving  them  back.  The  regiment's  loss  was  a  due 
proportion  of  our  total  loss,  which  was  perhaps  1,000,  while 
that  of  the  enemy  was  double  that  number. 

Toward  the  end  of  March  Grant  had  collected  an  irresisti- 
ble force  on  his  left,  which  was  daily  feeling  for  our  right, 
and  on  2  April  broke  through  our  attenuated  line  nearer  to 
Petersbui-g  and  moved  in  our  rear.  At  this  time  the  Forty- 
seventh,  lately  reinforced  by  the  last  recruits  from  home, 
were  further  to  the  right  to  try  to  stem  the  torrent  that  ap- 
peared in  that  quarter.  Lieutenant  Westray,  of  Company 
A,  ^^ith  tliirty  men,  were  engaged  on  our  old  picket  line  and 
they  held  their  position  so  well  that  even  the  enemy  passed  on 
both  sides  of  them  and  left  them  in  their  rear,  from  which 
situation  this  little  body  made  their  way  out,  and  the  next 
day  turned  up  for  duty  across  the  Appomattox. 

The  skii-mishers  of  the  Forty-seventh  had  done  picket  duty 
on  the  extreme  of  our  right  the  night  of  the  1st  and  were  re- 
turning on  the  morning  of  the  2d  along  the  breast%vorks  held 
by  some  Floridians.  These  were  dividing  out  their  day's 
rations,  and  if  they  had  pickets  out,  they  would  evidently  have 
been  quietly  captured.  The  head  of  a  Federal  cavalry  column 
was  approaching  the  breastworks  and  was  within  seventy-five 
yards,  when  our  skirmishers  halted,  had  a  parley  with  the 
Federals  and  ascertaining  they  were  enemies,  poured  a  volley 
into  them,  which  drove  them  off,  and  we  moved  off  again, 
without  having  halted  five  minutes  and  without  exchanging 
a  word  with  our  friends.  Thus  we  saved  them  from  a  com- 
plete surprise. 

Things  everywhere  on  our  side  were  now  getting  in  a  des- 
perate fix,  the  battle  raging,  seemingly,  everywhere.  Our 
skirmishers,  about  100  in  number,  of  whom  thirty  were  from 
the  Forty-seventh,  got  up  with  our  brigade  nea'^  Southerland's 
Station,  where  McEae  was  so  pressed  2  April  that  he  must 


100  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'6o. 

need  tui'ii  and  tight.  Two  charges  of  the  enemy  were  repulsed 
and  the  third  was  being  made  when  a  column  of  the  enemy  ar- 
rived on  o\ir  left  and  rear.  A  fierce  struggle  ensued  in 
wliich  we  were  totally  defeated,  slain,  wounded,  captured,  or 
scattered.  Only  a  few  came  out,  the  river  being  in  front,  the 
victorious  enemy  in  rear.  By  order  all  means  of  crossing  the 
river  had  been  removed.  But  the  next  morning  when  Lee 
passed  up  the  northern  bank  tx)ward  Amcdia  Court  House, 
MacTiae  at  the  head  of  our  organized  brigade,  that  is  a  few 
from  each  of  his  regiments,  was  in  the  retreating  column  as 
chipper  as  ever.  Even  the  corps  of  such  of  his  sharpshooters 
as  had  escaped  retained  their  organization. 

Passing  through  Farmville  on  the  Ttli  our  men  snatched 
some  rations  from  a  government  commissary  store  wliich 
they  were  in  sore  need  of,  as  none  had  been  issued,  except  on 
one  occasion  two  ears  of  corn  to  a  man.  On  the  evening  of 
the  7th  we  arrived  on  the  field  by  a  run,  wdien  Fitz  Lee  and 
Gregg's  Cavalry  Brigades  charged  each  otlier,  in  which  Gre^g 
was  defeated  and  himself  captured. 

On  Sunday  morning,  9  April,  the  Forty-seventh  arrived 
at  Appomattox,  the  last  ditch,  and  was  surrendered  with  the 
Army  of  Northern  Virginia.  When  it  was  filed  to  the  right 
of  the  road  the  men  supposed  they  were  going  in  line  of  bat- 
tle to  charge  the  enemy  who'  were  visible  in  front,  but  when 
MacRae  commanded  "Halt,"  and  without  any  further  or- 
der as  to  rest,  etc.,  so  contrary  to  his  rule  as  a  disciplina- 
rian, all  stared  and  wondered  what  it  could  mean.  He 
dismounted  and  lay  down,  and  we,  too,  began  to  lay  down. 
The  sad  news  was  quickly  learned,  and  then  followed  that 
mighty  expression  of  blasted  hope,  which  a  witness  will  never 
forget.  The  Forty-seventh  Regiment  had  no  field  officer. 
There  were  two  Captains  of  companies,  Faucette,  of  Com- 
pany K,  who  was  in  command,  and  Thorp,  of  Company  A. 
Company  A  had,  in  addition.  Lieutenant  Westray  and  twelve 
men  ;  Company  D  had  three  men.  The  number  of  men  of  the 
other  companies  not  remembered,  but  were  about  seventy-five. 

The  United  States  troops  (now  seemingly  no  longer  ene- 
mies) flocked  among  us  by  the  liundreds  and  showed  tlieir 
highest  respect  for  their  late  antagonists.     To  see  General 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  101 

Lee  was  the  burden  on  every  tongue.  There  was  no  exulta- 
tion ;  on  the  contrary  they  showed  marked  consideration  for 
our  feelings.  If  the  whole  country  could  have  witnessed  this 
sympathetic  scene  between  the  old  Greys  and  the  old  Blues, 
seas  of  bitter  tears  and  mountains  of  hate  would  have  been 

A  herd  of  fat,  young  steers,  and  many  wagon  loads  of 
crackers  were  brought  to  us,  with  which  we  appeased  our 
hunger.  Through  Monday  and  Tuesday  we  received  our 
guests.  On  Wednesday  we  were  paroled,  and  late  in  the 
evening  we  formed  in  our  organizations  for  the  last  time, 
marched  between  the  open  ranks  of  the  Federals  and  stacked 
guns.  1^0  Federal  officer  of  rank  was  in  sight.  There  was  no 
music.     'Twas  silenti — very  sad.     We  broke  ranks  for  home. 

And  now  old  comrades  (who  may  read  it)  this  skeleton  of  a 
sketch  is  an  attempt  to  write  only  the  truth,  though  a  very 
small  part  of  it,  of  the  Forty-seventh  N'orth  Carolina  Regi- 
ment. Praise,  criticism  or  even  mention  of  the  heroes  who 
composed  it  are  purposely  omitted.  The  merits  alone  of 
these  would  fill  a  large  volume,  and  partial  mention  would 
be  actual  wrong.  Is  it  not,  therefore,  better  that  whatever  of 
merit,  of  honor,  and  of  fame  the  dear  old  regiment  attained 
we  shall  share  in  common  ? 

John  H.  Thorp. 
BocKY  Mount,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 


By  J.  ROWAN  ROGERS,  Second  Lieutenant  Company  I. 


I  have  accepted  the  task  of  writing  this  additional  sketch 
of  the  Forty-seventh  I^orth  Carolina  Regiment  with  alacrity, 
because  I  love  so  well  its  memory,  and  its  many  heroes  of 
whom  so  many  have  passed  over  the  river,  though  a  few  yet 
linger  on  this  side. 

At  Gettysburg  the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  had  the  honor 
of  being  in  the  advance  of  all  the  troops  and  nearest  to  Get- 
tysburg on  30  June,  1863.  We  had  our  pickets  out  on  that 
night  and  next  morning  when  the  line  of  march  was  taken, 
Pettigrew's  Brigade,  composed  of  the  Forty-seventh,  Fifty- 
second,  Twenty-sixth  and  Eleventh,  was  in  front  (Forty -fourth 
Regiment  was  on  detached  duty  near  Richmond).  The  Forty- 
seventh  Regiment  was  in  front  of  the  brigade.  After  march- 
ing some  distance  from  our  camp  on  the  morning  of  1  July, 
the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  was  fired  into  from  both  sides 
of  tlie  road  and  a  halt  was  immediately  called,  when  the  en- 
emy was  discovered  to  be  advancing  from  both  our  right  and 
left  flank  (being  dismounted  cavalry),  from  a  body  of  woods 
which  was  away  from  the  road  on  each  side  about  500  yards, 
l^otwithstanding  this  was  a  great  surprise  to  all  of  our  regi- 
ment, you  could  plainly  see  pleasure  depicted  upon  tlie  face 
of  every  ofiicer  and  man  in  the  regiment,  for  we  all  were  anx- 
ious for  the  fray.  Every  one  waited  anxiously  for  orders, 
which  were  given  by  our  Colonel,  G.  H.  Faribault,  who  or- 
dered Captain  Cameron  Iredell,  of  Company  C,  to  take  five 
men  from  each  company,  making  fifty,  and  charge  the  enemy 
on  our  right  and  ordered  Lieutenant  Westray,  of  Company 
A,  to-  take  five  from  each  company  and  charge  them  on  our 
left.     All  this  was  done  quicker  than  I  can  write  it.    Colonel 

104  North  CUrolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

Farihnull  llieii  ii'avc  the  order  fur  our  regiinent  to  niarcli  in 
coliiiiiii  t(i  the  right  by  fours,  thus  heading  our  column  direct- 
ly towards  the  attacking  pjirty,  who  were  on  the  right  of  the 
road.  Colonel  Marshall,  who  was  just  in  rear  of  the  Forty- 
seventh  Regiment  with  the  Fifty-second,  made  the  same 
movement  with  his  galhmt  regiment,  to  the  left  of  the  road, 
thus  the  brigade  faced  three  waN's.  The  main  line 
composed  of  the  Forty-seventh  and  Fifty-second,  faced 
in  the  direction  of  Gettysburg,  while  the  two  skir- 
mish lines  faced  the  enemy  on  our  right  and  left  res- 
l)eetively.  As  soon  as  the  rear  and  left  of  the  Forty-sev- 
enth reached  the  cleared  ground  on  the  right  of  the  road  and 
the  rear  and  right  of  the  Fifty-second  had  reached  the  cleared 
ground  on  the  left,  both  regiments  were  ordered  to  halt.  The 
Forty-seventh  was  ordered  to  face  about  and  march  on  its 
side  of  the  road,  and  passedthe  Fifty-second  some  distance. 
Then  it  was  halted  and  the  Fifty-second  faced  about  and 
marched  the  same  distance  beyond  the  Forty-seventh,  thus 
constantly  keeping  one  regiment  facing  the  enemy  who  was 
in  our  front  trying  to  advance  from  that  direction,  while  the 
skirmishers  of  the  Forty-seventh  were  hotly  engaged  with 
them  on  the  right  and  left  of  the  road,  respectively.  This 
movement  and  fight  was  kept  up  then  until  the  Forty-seventh 
was  enabled  to  strike  the  enemy's  line  on  the  right  of  the 
road  and  the  Fifty-second  to  strike  the  enemy's  line,  which 
was  on  the  left  of  tli(>  road.  1'his  being  done,  a 
forward  iiio\-cnicnt  by  the  Fbrty-seventh  and  Fifty-second 
was  again  orth-rt'd,  one  on  the  right  and  one  on  the  left, 
which  was  gallantly  done  without  any  loss  cxccpi  four  or 
iiv(»  slightly  wounded.  The  <>neniy  broke  and  tied  to- 
wards Gettysburg  at  the  second  volley  from  the  two  regi- 
ments. The  Eleventh  ami  Twenty-sixth  wci'o  not  engaged  in 
this  skirmish.  Marching  in  the  rear,  thcv  did  u(>thave  room 
to  form  in  line  in  time,  for  the  Forty-seventh  and  Fifty-sec- 
ond had  alwjut  1,:>00  num  in  line  in  both  regiments.  After 
re])ulsing  llic  attack  at  this  ])oint  \\c  auaiii  mai"clu'(l  back  to 
the  road,  called  in  our  skirmishers  and  took  up  our  niai'ch, 
which  was  continual  about  one  mile,  when  we  were  sul)jeeted 
to  a  severe  eannonadiu"-  from  liattcries  in  our  front  and  here 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  105 

we  commenced  to  get  into  position  and  form  line  of  battle 
for  the  great  struggle  whicli  was  about  tO'  take  place  on  1 
July,  1863.  Then  the  Fifty-second  ISTorth  Carolina,  under 
Colonel  Marshall,  formed  on  the  right  of  the  Forty-seventh, 
being  thus  on  the  right  of  Pettigrew's  Brigade,  the  Forty- 
seventh  next,  it  being  on  the  right  center,  the  Eleventh  and 
Twenty-sixth  were  on  the  left  centre  and  extreme  left,  but  I 
have  never  known  which  one  of  these  regiments  was  next  to 
the  Forty-seventh.  The  line  being  thus  formed,  was  advanced 
for  a  short  distance  tO'  the  front,  where  it  was  again  halted 
with  its  line  stretching  far  to  the  right  and  left,  for  whatever 
history  may  say.  General  Pettigrew  had  in  line  of  battle  that 
morning  nearer  3,000  soldiers  than  he  had  2,500,  and  they 
were  all  good  and  gallant  men.  Before  night  the  Twenty- 
sixth  ami  Eleventh  ISTorth  Carolina  had  lost  two-tliirds  of 
their  numbers,  for  when  the  word  of  command  was  given  they 
iiished  forward  against  a  largely  superior  force  which  was 
statione^d  in  the  skirt  of  woods  just  in  their  front.  The 
Forty-seventh  suffered  less  severely  on  that  day  than  those  two 
regiments  because  of  their  disadvantages.  The  Forty-sev- 
enth was  the  next  in  loss,  the  Fifty-second  being  on  the  right 
of  the  line,  suffered  less  than  any  other  of  the  brigade  on  that 
day.  But  to  go  back,  after  our  line  was  formed  we  were  or- 
dered to  halt,  and  as  the  enemy  was  keeping  up  a  rather  hot 
fire  upon  our  main  line,  skirmishers  from  our  regiment  were 
ordered  to  advance  and  drive  them  back  out  of  reach  of  our 
line,  which  was  done,  but  not  until  several  of  our  regiment 
were  wounded  and  our  gallant  Lieutenant-Colonel,  John  A. 
Graves,  was  slightly  wounded  on  the  leg,  the  ball  first  having 
hit  the  iron  scabbard  of  his  sword,  which  was  hanging  by  his 
side.  But  see  on  our  left  our  boys  have  charged  the  Yan- 
kees who  are  stationed  upon  a  hill,  and  we  drive  them  down 
the  hill  on  the  other  side,  pell  luell.  But  now  our  gallant 
boys  are  met  half  way  down  the  hill  by  a  fresh  line  of  the 
enemy  and  a  severe^  contest  ensues ;  our  lines  are  thinned 
and  the  Yankees  are  continually  bringing  up  fresh  troops, 
but  our  boys  stand  it  manfully. 

A  part  of  Anderson's  Division  was  on  the  immediate  left 
of  Pettigrew's  Brigade  at  the  first  stage  of  heavy  fighting  on 

106  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801-'G5. 

the  morning  of  1  July.  Now  when  the  rattling  of  musketry  is 
gi'owing  to  a  perfect  line  of  fire,  the  Forty-seventh  is  ordered 
forward.  It  is  a  grand  spectacle.  In  the  line  of  the  Forty- 
seventh  there  are  over  650  muskets,  the  men  marching  stead- 
ily to  meet  the  foe,  who  are  on  their  own  soil  and  strongly 
posted,  with  a  heavy  infantry  force  and  with  artillery 
which  at  every  step  rakes  tlirough  our  lines,  cutting  great 
gaps,  which  are  quickly  filled  up  by  our  boys  closing  into 
the  places  of  those  who  have  just  fallen.  We  cross  a  stream 
and  then  up  a  hill  through  a  wheat  field,  and  then  in  our 
front,  not  over  seventy-five  yards  off,  we  see  the  heavy  lines 
of  Yankee  soldiers  with  their  guns  shining  and  flags  waving ; 
the  struggle  grows  hotter  and  hotter,  men  are  falling  in  every 
direction,  but  the  Forty-seventli  and  Fifty-second  are  push- 
ing the  enemy  steadily  back,  and  are  going  forward;  the 
Twenty-sixth  and  Eleventh  are  contending  with  heavy  odds 
both  as  to  numbers  and  position.  While  the  Forty-seventh  and 
Fifty-second  have  the  foe  in  an  open  field,  the  Twenty-sixth 
and  Eleventh  have  nothing  to  shelter  themselves  any  more 
than  we  have,  and  thus  it  is  that  the  Fifty-second  and  Forty- 
seventh,  having  driven  back  the  enemy  in  their  immediate 
front,  their  lines  swing  around  to  the  left.  In  this  position 
•  they  are  charged  by  Yankee  cavalry  in  our  rear  and  on  our 
right.  Colonel  Marshall  was  equal  to  this  emergency,  for  he 
faced  three  of  his  companies  about  and  met  this  charge, 
quickly  driving  the  cavalry  off  with  heavy  loss  to  them. 
While  tliis  was  going  on  the  infantry  in  our  front  tried  hard 
to  rally  their  somewhat  broken  lines  and  regain  the  gTound 
they  had  lost.  This  was  a  hot  time  for  the  Twenty-sixth  and 
Eleventh.  Men  had  fallen  woimded  and  killed  like  hail 
from  a  heavy  hail  storm.  The  attention  of  the  Forty-seventh 
was  diverted  from  the  enemy  in  our  immediate  front  and 
almost  before  we  knew  it  the  enemy  had  rallied  and  was  at- 
tempting to  charge  our  lines.  Besides,  they  had  a  number 
of  pieces  of  artillery  helping  them,  wherever  the  opposing 
lines  were  far  enough  apart  for  them  to  use  artillery  vdthout 
striking  their  own  men.  At  this  critical  moment  Captain 
Cam.  Iredell,  who  commanded  Company  C,  wliich  was  the 
color  company  of  the  Forty-seventli,  seeing  one  of  his  men 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  107 

fall  mortally  wounded,  rushes  to  his  side  and  says,  ''My  dear 
boy,  I  will  try  to  avenge  your  hurt."  He  took  his  musket  and 
continued  to  use  it  until  he  was  struck  by  a  shot  from  the  en- 
emy which  caused  his  death,  not,  however,  until  he  had  seen 
the  enemy  again  turn  and  flee.  The  Forty-seventh  lost  heav- 
ily in  this  fight  of  1  July. 

On  2  July  we  rested,  cleaned  our  guns  and  attended  to  the 
wounded.  Early  on  3  July  the  Forty-seventh  with  the  bal- 
ance of  Pettigrew's  Brigade,  was  ordered  considerably  to 
the  right  of  where  it  had  fought  on  1  July.  It  reached  its 
position  about  9  o'clock  3  July  and  remained  quietly  in  line 
just  in  the  rear  of  a  Confederate  battery  until  about  1 
o'clock  p.  m.,  when  a  very  heavy  cannonading  commenced 
between  the  opposing  batteries,  which  continued  until  aboiit 
3  p.  m,,  at  which  time  the  grand  advance  upon  Meade's 
lines  was  made.  On  that  part  of  the  line  where  the  Forty- 
seventh  advanced,  it  was  about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  or  per- 
haps a  mile  from  our  batteries  to  the  enemy's  lines.  Our 
battery  was  situated  about  twenty-five  yards  in  front  of 
where  the  Forty-seventh  had  taken  up  our  line.  About  3 
o'clock  a  slight  cessation  in  the  firing  of  artillery  occurred 
and  then  the  voice  of  our  Colonel,  George  H.  Faribault,  was 
beard  loud  and  clear,  ''Attention,  Battalion,"  and  this  was 
repeated  by  the  brave  aiid  beloved  Lieutenant-Colonel,  John 
A.  Graves.  Every  man  sprung  into  line  and  was  ready  to 
go  forward,  the  men  knew  not  wjiere,  for  the  ridge  just  in 
front  of  the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  obstructed  the  view  of 
the  Regiment  beyond  twenty-five  yards.  The  order  was 
soon  given  to  move  forward,  which  was  done  in  good  order 
and  without  any  confusion.  Passing  our  batteries  the  field 
was  before  us,  it  Avas  entirely  open  except  here  and  there  an 
old  homestead,  and  one  or  two  roads  with  a  number  of  strong 
rail  and  post  fences,  some  of  them  high  and  difficult  to  pass 
over,  i^o  one  hesitated,  no  one  faltered,  but  a  good,  steady 
quick-step  was  kept  up.  After  leaving  our  batteries  about 
fifty  or  one  hundred  yards  the  enemy  commenced  a  terrific 
cannonade  and  kept  it  up  until  we  were  soclose  that  they  could 
not  use  their  cannon.  As  our  regiment  advanced  great  gaps 
would  be  knocked  in  our  lines  by  the  Yankee  artillerymen, 

108  North  Carolina  Troops,  18G1-'65. 

at  almost  every  five  or  ten  steps,  but  they  were  immediatly 
filled  ill  by  our  brave  boys  closing  in  and  filling;  up  the  gaps. 
This  continued  until  our  line  of  battle  came  to  where  our 
skirmishers  were  situated,  when  we  received  a  few  shots  from 
the  enemy's  skirmishers  in  addition  to  the  cannon  shot  and 
shell  which  cou tinned  to  pom-  in  on  us  from  the  time  we 
started  until  we  were  so  close  under  their  iiims  that  they 
could  not  use  them  upon  us  without  shooting  their  own  men. 
As  our  regiment  advanced  its  ranks  were  thinned  at  every 
step  by  shot  and  shell  from  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  ]\Iany  a 
brave  man  from  our  regiment  fell  dead  upon  the  field  and 
many  more  were  slightly  and  others  badly  wounded.  Here 
it  was  that  Captain  J.  W.  Brown,  of  Company  I,  was  shocked 
by  the  bursting  of  a  shell  and  carried  back  to  the  rear  and 
almost  immediately  after  tliis  Lieutenant  J.  Wiley  Jones 
was  shot  through  the  thigh  heaving  Lieutenant  J.  Rowan 
Rogers  as  the  only  officer  with  Company  I.  x\s  Lieutenant 
Jones  was  wounded  and  fell  he  raised  his  sword  and  cheered 
his  men  on.  J.  D.  Newsom,  Lieutenant  of  Company  H, 
was  slightly  wounded  in  the  shoulder  almost  at  the 
first  shot  from  the  musketry,  whicli  was  fired  after 
the  charge  was  started  and  he  rushed  to  his  Captain  (Mitch- 
ell) and  says  to  him,  "Captain,  they  have  wounded 
me,  but  I  want  to  lead  Company  H,"  and  gallantly  did  he 
lead  it.  He  fell  terrildy  wounded  with  his  foot  u])on 
one  rail  of  the  fence  that  ran  along  the  road,  next  to  the  rock 
fence  l>ehind  which  the  Yankee  line  was  posted.  Our  color- 
bearer,  a  mendier  of  Company  K,  Faucett's  Company  from 
Alamance  county,  succeeded  in  passing  over  this  fence,  but 
fell  nioi'tally  wounck^d.  He  died  that  night  with  his  face  to 
the  enemy.  Our  cohn-s  fell  with  our  brave  color-bearer  not 
ten  steps  from  tli(^  rock  wall.  About  150  yards  from  the  rock 
wall,  while  crossing  one  of  the  many  fences,  which  i-an  across 
the  ground  we  were  charging  over,  1  was  shot  in  my  left  leg 
and  thrown  from  the  fence.  When  T  arose  the  ivmnant  of 
our  once  fine  regiment  was  redu('('(]  ti»  a  mci'c  handful  of 
brave  men,  still  going  forward  from  tliirty  to  as  close  u]i  as 
ten  steps  to  tlu^  rock  wall.  Seeing  this  and  having  recovered 
from  mv  fall  and  niv  leg  not  seeming  to  be  badlv  hurt,  T  made 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  109 

a  nish  to  join  the  set  of  brave  men  nearest  the  enenij,  when  I 
was  startled  to  hear  the  command  given  the  Yankee  skirmish- 
ers "To  the  front,"  and  immediately  I  heard  onr  brave  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Graves  give  the  order  for  the  handful  of  brave 
men  to  lie  down,  hoping  thus  to  hold  his  position  until  rein- 
forcements should  come ;  but  none  came.  The  Forty-seventh 
acted  bravely,  coolly  and  none  faltered. 

The  largest  number  of  those  who  got  out  of  that  charge 
were  those  who  had  been  slightly  wounded  before  they  got 
too  close  to  the  breastworks  to  fall  back,  and  those  who  were 
wounded  early  enough  in  the  charge  to  be  carried  back  by 
our  own  men.  Among  those  who  were  so  close  to  the  enemy's 
works  that  they  could  not  retreat  were  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Graves,  Captain  Jos.  J.  Davis,  aftei'\vards  member  of  Con- 
gress and  Justice  of  our  Supreme  Court ;  Lieutenant  Watson, 
of  Company  K,  and  a  number  of  others  I  cannot  recall,  in  all 
a  mere  handful,  for  they  had  all  been  shot  down  or  exhausted 
and  overcome  by  heat.  I  have  seen  somewhere  that  the 
Forty-seventh  Regiment  lost,  wounded  and  killed  and  miss- 
ing, 351.  This  is  certainly  a  mistake.  The  proportion  was 
larger  than  that  in  my  company  (I).  We  lost  57  and  we 
had  officers  who  were  present  and  could  report  correctly  the 
number  of  the  killed  and  wounded.  I  thinlv  three  companies 
lost  all  their  officers  and  no  correct  report  was  given  from 
those.  They  reported  the  smallest  number  of  men  killed, 
wounded  and  missing.  As  I  have  stated  above,  there  was 
no  faltering  on  the  part  of  the  Forty-seventh  on  3  July,  1863. 
All  did  their  duty  and  acted  the  part  of  brave  soldiers. 


After  General  Lee  left  Gettysburg  our  first  halt  for  more 
than  one  night  was  at  Hagerstown,  Maryland.  Here  the 
Forty-seventh  was  engaged  in  skirmishing  with  the  enemy's 
outpost  and  did  some  picket  duty  on  or  near  a  stream  called 
Antietam.  We  then  moved  in  line  of  battle  and  built  breast- 
works not  far  from  Hagerstown,  towards  Falling  Waters. 
When  General  Lee  recrossed  the  Potomac,  Pettigi*e\v's  Brig- 
ade was  again  given  the  post  of  honor  which  was  to  bring 
up  the  rear  of  our  retreating  army.     At  Falling  Waters,  or 

110  XoRTH  Carolina  Troops,   lSt)l-"65. 

abc'Ut  one  and  a  half  miles  from  there,  while  our  regiment 
was  halted  to  give  our  wagon  train  and  the  troc'ps  who  were 
to  cross  at  Falling  Waters  protection  while  passing  the  river, 
we  were  surprised  and  charged  by  a  squadron  of  chivalry. 
Our  beloved  General  J.  Johnston  Pettigrew  was  on  the  ex- 
treme right  of  our  line  and  was  shot  while  drawing  his  pis- 
toL  It  happened  thus :  General  Pettigrew  with  a  number  of 
his  staff  (Captain  Young,  of  Charleston,  being  one  of  them, 
who  I  understand  is  still  living)  were  resting  near  their 
horses,  when  the  word  passed  up  the  line.  "The  Yankees  are 
charging  us.*'  The  general  ordered  his  horse,  but  about  the 
time  he  took  hold  of  his  horse  to  mounts  a  Yankee  officer  rid- 
ing on  the  left  of  their  line  and  a  little  in  front,  ordered  him 
to  surrender.  General  Pettigrew  did  not  notice  the  Yankee 
farther  than  to  mount  his  horse  and  commence  drawing  his 
pistol,  his  horse,  however,  reared  and  plunged  and  the  Yan- 
kee seeing  that  Pettigrew  did  not  intend  to  stirrender.  fired 
and  hit  him.  General  Pettigrew  f eU  from  his  horse  and  the 
fight  was  hot  around  and  about  him  for  fifteen  or  twenty 
minutes.  We  succeeded  in  killing  all  the  Yankees  except 
eight.  The  men  in  the  charge  were  evidently  all  dnmk.  A 
heavier  force  coming  up,  we  fell  back  to  the  river  disputing 
every  step  with  the  enemy,  so  as  to  give  our  men  as  much 
time  to  cross  as  j)ossible.  When  a  few  days  thereafter  we 
camped  at  Btmker  Hill,  our  regiment  numbered  98  men  for 
duty.  My  company  (1)  lost  at  Falling  Waters  eight  men 
killed,  wounded  and  captured.  I  remember  the  loss  particu- 
larly, because  I  was  acting  adjutant  of  the  regiment,  our  gal- 
lant Adjutant  Thomas  Powell  having  been  captured  at  Get- 


At  the  Wilderness,  the  Forty-seventh  R^ment  had  the 
honor  of  bringing  on  the  fight.  We  were  in  front  of  our 
lines  and  struck  the  Yankee  pickets  about  9  o'clock,  driving 
them  with  our  skirmish  line  back  until  their  numbers  in- 
creased so  that  Company  I  was  first  ordered  to  reinforce  the 
skirmish  line,  then  another  company,  then  another,  until  the 
entire  regiment  was  engaged  and  then,  I  think  the  Forty- 

Forty-Seventh  Regiment.  Ill 

fourth  regiment  was  the  first  regiment  after  the  Forty-sev- 
enth to  l^ecome  engaged.  When  the  enemy  was  driven  back 
upon  their  main  line  and  the  fight  of  the  first  day  became 
general,  the  Forty-seventh  was  ordered  at  first  to  take  posi- 
tion on  the  left  of  the  road,  but  was  soon  moved  over  to  the 
right  of  the  road,  where  we  held  our  position  for  three  hourSj 
the  enemy  charging  us  almost  continuously.  During  this 
time  the  heaviest  fighting  took  place  which,  with  our  regi- 
ment, was  about  2  o'clock  p.  m.  The  black-jack  saplings  were 
skinned  by  the  bullets  like  a  yoimg  apple  tree  is  in  tiie  spring 
of  the  year  by  the  rabbits. 

Without  giving  more  of  the  particulars  of  this  battle,  here 
it  was  that  the  best  friend  of  my  boyhixwi  fell  mortally 
wounded  through  the  neck.  William  H.  Haywood,  son  of  the 
late  United  States  Senator  W.  H.  Haywood  and  brother  of 
Duncan  Haywood,  who  fell  at  Seven  Pines.  I  would  like 
if  I  could,  to  tell  about  the  fights  in  which  the  Forty-seventh 
was  engaged  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House,  Hanover  Jimc- 
tion.  Second  Cold  Harbor  and  the  battle  of  Turkey  Ridge  on 
2  and  3  June.  1864.  where  I  was  wounded  and  so  kindly 
treated  by  my  Brigadier  General  (Kirkland)  who  was 
wounded  in  the  same  battle. 

I  had  just  arrived  at  the  field  hospital  When  he  heard 
me  speak  he  knew  my  voice  and  called  me  to  his  tent,  had  my 
woimd  dressed  and  carried  me  to  Ward  B.  Jackson  Hospital. 
Richmond.  Va..  early  next  morning.  Had  it  not  been  for  his 
kindness  I  doubt  much  if  I  should  now  be  living,  for  I  was 
out  of  my  head  for  several  days  after  I  was  woimded.  On 
account  of  this  wounding  I  missed  the  battles  which  took 
place  from  then  tintil  the  day  after  the  Reams  Station  fight 
(25  August,  IS 64),  where  the  Forty-seventh  covered  itself 
with  glory  as  did  all  the  troops  engage«i.  all  being  Xorth 
Carolinians,  viz:  Cooke's.  Lane's  and  MacRae's  Brigades, 
the  last  being  the  one  to  which  the  Forty-seventh  then  be- 
longed. I  was  thenceforward  with  the  regiment  imtil  2 
April,  1865. 

2  APBTT.,  1865. 

On  that  day  I  was  captured  on  the  Cox  road  about  five 

112  North  Carolina  Troops,    15()1-'G5. 

miles  west  of  Petersburg,  while  with  the  skirmishers  of  the 
Forty-seventh  Kegiiuent  holding  the  enemy  back  till  the 
handful  of  Lee's  anny  crossed  to  the  north  side  of 
the  Appomattox  river,  thus  placing  a  barrier  between 
them  and  the  great  host  of  Grant's  army,  which  was 
then  pressing  him.  After  the  Reams  Station  tight  the 
Forty-seventh,  like  almost  all  the  Southern  troops  which 
were  on  the  south  side  of  Petersbiu-g,  was  engaged  in  a  daily 
battle,  and  often  nightly  ones,  until  the  close  of  the  war ;  some 
of  these  was  larger  and  heavier  than  others,  and  their  names 
are  recorded  in  history,  for  instance  "Davis'  Farm,"  "Jones' 
Farm,"  "Burgess'  Mill,"  "Battery  45,"  southwest  of  Peters- 
burg, and  a  number  of  other  battles  where  many  a  brave  man 
fell.  I  wish  it  was  so  that  I  could  meet  some  of  those  of 
the  Forty-seventh  who  were  at  the  final  scene  when  General 
Lee  surrendered,  but  I  have  met  only  two.  Lieutenant  J.  Wil- 
lie Jones,  of  Company  I.  and  Corporal  Rufus  Sandere  of 
Company  C,  who  are  now  living  in  Wake  county.  After 
2  April  the  Forty-seventh  had  very  few  men  but  its  organ- 
ization was  kept  up  till  General  Lee  surrendered.  On  the 
'2d  the  Forty-seventh  was  bringing  up  the  rear  of  Gen- 
eral Lee's  shattered  heroes  and  here  it  was  that  with  the 
larger  portion  of  the  remaining  members  of  the  Forty- 
seventh  I  was  captured.  I  had  orders  Avhen  placed  in  charge 
of  the  skinnishers  of  the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  on  that  day 
to  hold  our  position  at  all  hazards.  The  enemy  was  never 
able  to  break  through  my  skinnish  line,  but  it  was  completely 
surrounded  and  we  were  captured  by  the  enemy  coming 
from  our  rear.  Gaston  H.  Mooneyham,  a  private  of  Com- 
pany E,  Forty-seventh  Regiment,  who  is  now  living  in  Bar- 
ton's Creek  To^^^lship,  this  county,  was  with  mo  when  I  was 
captured  and  stood  manfully  by  me  in  this  fight,  the  last 
fight  we  made  for  the  Confederacy. 

J.  RowAX  Rogers. 
Raleigh,  N.  C  , 

9  April,  1901. 





1.  Samuel  H.  Walknp,  Colonel.  4.    Jolin    R.    Winchester,   Adjutant    and 

2.  William  Hogan  Jones,  Major.  1st  Lieut. 

3.  W.  H.  H.  Lawhon,  Captain.  Co.  D.        5.    John  A.  Thompson,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  G. 


By  W.  H.  H.  LAWHON,  Captain  Company  D. 

The  great  civil  war  began  in  1861.  Several  companies 
made  up  in  the  summer  of  1S61,  composed  of  volunteers  for 
twelve  months,  in  the  Spring  of  1862  reorganized  for  three 
years  or  the  war.  The  battles  of  Big  Bethel,  First  Manassas 
and  others  had  been  fought ;  the  result  of  which  had  given  the 
Southern  troops  courage,  and  some  men  in  North  Carolina, 
who  had  been  opposed  to  secession,  were  now  changing  their 
minds,  so  that  in  the  Winter  of  1861  and  1862  preparations 
were  being  made  on  both  sides  for  the  next  summer's  cam- 
paign. The  Federal  aniiy  was  recruiting  so  rapidly  that  the 
authorities  of  the  Confederacy  saw  that  they  would  have  to 
meet  a  heavy  force  in  the  field  the  next  summer,  so  a  draft 
was  ordered  in  Xorth  Carolina  25  February,  1862. 

At  this  time  volunteer  companies  were  being  raised  in  all 
parts  of  the  State.  Many  of  the  patriotic  sous  of  North  Car- 
olina volunteered,  most  of  the  men  who  were  drafted  joined 
some  company  then  being  raised.  A  few  hired  substitutes 
Avho  joined  and  thus  the  companies  were  rapidly  filled  up 
and  hurried  off  to  the  camp  of  instruction,  near  Raleigh,  and 
as  they  arrived  they  were  formed  into  regiments.  The  For- 
ty-eighth was  composed  of  the  following  companies : 

Company  A — Union  County — Francis  L.  Wiatt,  Captain. 

Company  B — Davidson  County — Albert  A.  Hill,  Captain. 

Company  C — Iredell  County — Arthur  M.  Walker,  Cap- 

Company  D — Moore  County- — Benjamin  R.  Huske,  Cap- 

Company  E — Union  County — John  W.  Walden,  Captain. 

Company  F — Union  County — Samuel  H.  Walkup,  Cap- 

114  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

Company  G— Chatham  County — William  H.  Jones,  Cap- 

Company  H — Davidson  County — Jolin  Michael,  Captain. 

Company  I- — Union  County — Elias  C.  Alexander,  Cap- 

Company  K — Forsyth  County — Jesse  W.  Atwood,  Cap- 

It  was  organized  on  11  April,  1862,  choosing: 

Robert  C.  Hill,  Colonel,  of  Iredell  County. 

Samuel  II.  Walxup,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  of  Union 

Benjamin  E.  Huske,  Major,  of  Cumberland  County. 

As  many  drafted  men  had  furnished  substitutes,  some  being 
old  men  and  some  mere  boys,  the  Forty-eighth  Regiment  was 
made  up  of  men  of  all  sizes,  and  the  reader,  if  acquainted 
with  military  tactics,  will  at  once  see  the  difficulty  in  drilling 
such  troops  uniformly.  In  marching  the  old  men  would 
step  too  long  and  slow,  the  boys  too  short  and  fast.  But  Col- 
onel Hill,  who  was  a  military  man,  lost  no  time  in  drilling 
and  disciplining  his  regiment.  We  were  at  Camp  Mangum, 
but  in  a  short  while  we  moved  to  Goldsboro,  where  we  were  in 
camp  until  about  the  second  week  in  June,  when  we  went  to 
Petersburg,  Va.,  and  camped  on  Dunn's  Hill.  Here  we  were 
attached  to  General  Robert  Ransom's  Brigade. 

Under  his  orders  we  marched  one  evening  to  City  Point, 
arriving  about  dark;  threw  out  a  strong  skirmish  line,  and 
a  detail  was  made  to  load  some  wagons  with  ice  from  an  ice 
house,  which  was  near  the  bank  of  the  James  river.  The 
Yankees  were  near  by  in  gunboats.  (The  ice  was  to  be  car- 
ried to  Petersburg.)  The  next  morning  General  Ransom 
opened  fire  with  two  or  three  small  pieces  on  the  gunboats, 
which  were  down  the  river,  a  mile  or  more.  The  Yankees 
returned  the  fire  very  promptly  and  threw  out  among  us  what 
the  men  called  "churns,"  cutting  off  tree  tops,  and  digging 
holes  in  the  ground.  They  fired  the  woods,  and  it  looked  like 
they  would  clear,  burn  and  plow  the  ground  all  at  the  same 
time.  Only  a  few  rounds  were  fired.  We  fell  back  in  or- 
der and  disorder,  but  mostly  in  disorder.     A  horse  was  cut 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment.  115 

on  the  leg  witli  a  piece  of  shell.  This  was  all  the  blood  lost 
on  our  side,  and  I  do  not  suppose  there  was  much  lost  on  the 
other  side.  One  of  our  men  claimed  to  be  hit  on  his  shoulder 
with  a  piece  of  shell,  but  it  is  more  likely  he  tore  his  coat 
running  through  the  brush  ;  we  went  back  to  our  camp  having, 
as  we  thought,  tasted  a  little  of  war  and  seen  a  little  of  its 
danger.  And  we  all  knew  we  had  smelt  gunpowder.  ISTot  a 
few  of  the  men  told  of  narrow  escapes.  Some  of  them  were 
certain  they  felt  the  wind  of  the  shells,  while  others  felt  the 
heat  of  them  as  they  passed  by,  and  still  others  were  jarred 
by  the  explosions. 

On  24  June,  we  marched  to  Richmond  and  camped  that 
night  in  the  capitol  square,  ^ext  morning  we  marched  to 
the  front  line  and  about  4  p.  m.,  had  our  first  battle,  at 
French's  Farm.  General  Robert  Ransom  ordered  Colonel  Hill 
to  advance  through  an  open  field  on  a  brigade  of  Yankees,  who 
were  behind  a  fence  on  the  edge  of  the  wood,  and  ordered  a 
Virginia  regiment  to  support  us  on  the  right,  but  from  some 
cause  the  Virginia  regiment  never  came  up,  and  the  Forty- 
eighth  fought  a  brigade  of  Federals  for  some  time.  They 
were  in  woods  beliind  a  fence  and  we  in  an  open  field.  How- 
ever, a  Georgia  battalion  flanked  the  enemy  on  our  left,  and 
thus  we  were  enabled  to  hold  the  ground.  We  lost  Major 
Huske,  Captain  Clegg,  Company  T),  and  Captain  Atwood, 
Company  K,  killed ;  and  Captain  Michael,  Company  H ; 
Captain  Walker,  Company  C ;  Lieutenant  Anderson,  Com- 
pany D ;  and  Lieutenant  Stilts,  Company  A,  were  wounded. 
We  lost  non-commissioned  oflicers  and  men:  Killed  21, 
wounded  46  ;  and  of  the  46  wounded,  19  died,  according  to 
the  Xorth  Carolina  Roster. 

Some  unpleasantness  occurred  between  General  Ransom 
and  Colonel  Hill,  which  resulted  in  the  Forty-eighth  Regi- 
ment being  detached  from  Ransom's  Brigade  and  on  the  next 
day,  the  26th,  we  marched  to  Gaines'  Mill,  on  the  extreme  left 
of  our  lines,  where  Stonewall  Jackson  had  been  fighting,  and 
when  we  arrived  Jackson  had  driven  the  enemy  some  two 
miles.  So  we  camped  on  that  battlefield  that  night  and  the 
next  morning  recrossed  the  Chickahominy  river  and  went 
from  place  to  place,  until  we  joined  General  Walker  at  White 

116  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

Oak  Swamp,  on  1  Julj.  We  were  a  little  too  late  to  take  part 
in  the  Malveni  Hill  battle,  but  were  under  a  severe  shelling 
from  gunboats,  which  were  then  on  the  James  river  at  or 
near  Harrison's  Landing.  This  was  the  end  of  the  seven 
days'  battles  around  Richmond. 

We  then  went  back  to  Petersburg,  where  we  were  in  camp 
until  August.  Some  time  in  August  while  at  this  camp  oui* 
regiment  was  recruited  by  conscripts  and  before  we  had  time 
to  drill  them  we  M'ere  ordered  to  march  and  were  now  on  the 
memorable  Maryland  campaign.  We  took  part  in  the  cap- 
ture of  Harper's  Ferry  15  September,  1862.  General  J.  G. 
Walker  with  his  own  and  Ransom's  Brigade  occupied  the 
Loudon  Heights  between  the  Shenandoah  and  Potomac,  and 
we  were  in  full  view  of  the  town  when  it  was  surrendered.  We 
then  marched  to  Maryland,  crossing  the  Potomac  at  Shep- 
herdstown,  and  on  the  night  of  the  16th  were  placed  to  guard 
a  ford  on  the  Antietam  river,  about  two  miles  soutli  of  Sharps- 
burg.  The  battle  on  the  left  opened  very  early  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  17th,  and  about  0  o'clock  a.  m.  Walker's  Division^ 
(Ransom's  and  Walker's  Brigades),  were  ordered  to  the  left 
to  support  Stonewall  Jackson.  We  arrived  at  the  Dunkard 
Church,  one  and  a  half  miles  north  of  Sharpsburg,  at  about 
11  o'clock.  Jackson's  line  had  been  broken  at  that  point 
Kershaw's  and  Hood's  Brigades  had  been  driven  out  of 
a  piece  of  woods  west  of  the  church  and  the  enemy  was  com- 
ing into  the  gap.  Walker's  Division  drove  them  back  and 
held  the  field.  If  we  had  been  a  few  minutes  later  the  Con- 
federate army  might  have  been  destroyed.  The  Forty-eighth 
Regiment  occupied  that  part  of  the  line  at  the  church.  The 
church  was  about  the  center  of  the  regiment.  We  drove  the 
enemy  out  of  the  woods,  and  charged  their  line  east  of  the 
church,  but  >vere  cut  all  to  pieces.  We  lost  about  one-half 
of  our  men,  killed  and  wounded.  So  closely  were  we  pressed 
in  this  battle  that  brigades  were  divided.  The  Twenty-sev- 
enth ISToi-th  Carolina  Regiment  and  Third  Arkansas  Regi- 
ment, a  part  of  Walker's  Brigade,  were  sent  to  the  right,  and 
the  Forty-eighth  North  Carolina  and  Thirtieth  Virginia  Reg- 
iments to  the  left,  leaving  a  gap  between  us  that  would  have 
required  several  men  to  have  filled,  but  fortunately  for  us^ 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment.  117 

the  enemy  did  not  see  it.  Then,  about  4  o'clock  p.  m.,  Colo- 
nel Hill  was  ordered  with  his  regiment,  the  Forty-eighth,  to 
the  extreme  left  of  the  line,  where  there  was  some  hard  fightr 
ing.  We  marched  in  quick  time  a  little  over  a  mile,  but  when 
we  arrived,  Jackson's  men  had  driven  the  enemy  back  some 
distance.  We  then  marched  back,  and  arrived  at  the  Dunk- 
ard  Church  about  dark,  where  we  remained  until  the  night  of 
the  18th,  when  we  recrossed  the  Potomac. 

After  the  Army  of  ITorthern  Virginia  had  returned  south 
of  the  Potomac,  the  army  was  more  thoroughly  organized 
into  brigades,  divisions  and  corps.  Before,  it  seems,  we  had 
some  regiments  not  permanently  attached  to  any  brigade. 
The  Fifteenth,  Twenty-seventh,  Forty-sixth  and  Forty-eighth 
Regiments  formed  General  John  R.  Cooke's  Brigade,  belong- 
ing to  General  H.  Heth's  Division  and  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps. 

The  next  battle  we  were  in  was  at  Fredericksburg,  Va., 
13  December,  1862.  Here  the  Forty-eighth  suffered  another 
heavy  loss,  being  in  the  hottest  of  the  battle.  Major.  A.  A. 
Hill  was  wounded ;  Captain  J.  C.  Stafford,  Company  K ; 
Lieutenant  Peter  W.  Plyler,  Company  E ;  Lieutenant  M.  S. 
Brem,  Company  C,  and  Lieutenant  H.  C.  Banner,  Company 
K,  were  killed.  Captain  J.  D.  Dowd,  Company  D ;  Cap- 
tain John  Moore,  Company  I ;  Captain  J.  F.  Heitman, 
company  H ;  Lieutenant  J.  K.  Potts,  Company  C ;  Lieuten- 
ant H.  A.  Gray,  Company  F,  and  Lieutenant  Edwin  Tyson, 
Company  G,  were  wounded.  The  loss  of  non-commissioned 
officers  and  men  was  very  heavy. 

From  Fredericksburg  Cooke's  Brigade  was  sent,  in  Janu- 
ary, 1863,  to  Pocataligo,  S.  C,  where  we  remained  until 
April,  and  were  then  ordered  back  to  Eastern  !N'orth  Carolina 
until  July.  While  here  we  did  a  good  deal  of  marching, 
were  in  a  little  skirmish  at  Gum  Swamp,  and  drove  the  Yan- 
kees as  far  as  Red  Banks,  eight  miles  from  New  Bern.  Then 
we  went  from  place  to  place.  We  were  at  Little  Washington, 
Tarboro,  Weldon  and  other  places  until  about  1  July,  when 
we  went  to  Richmond,  and  were  around  Richmond  several 
days  guarding  the  city.  In  August  we  went  back  to  Freder- 
icksburg, were  there  about  a  month;  then  to  Gordonsville, 
where  we  joined  the  regular  army  and  marched  to  Bristoe 

118  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

Station  on  14  October,  1863.  We  had  missed  all  the  hard 
marching  on  the  campaign  to  Pennsylvania  and  the  great 
battle  of  Gettysbui'g,  but  at  Bristoe  we  suffered  the  heaviest 
loss  of  any  battle  we  had  yet  been  in,  charging  a  heavy  body 
of  the  enemy  entrenched  behind  a  railroad.  From  here  we 
fell  back  to  Orange  Court  House,  where  we  went  into  winter 

The  next  battle  was  at  the  Wilderness,  4  May,  1864. 
Heth's  Division  fought  a  heavy  force  of  the  enemy  for  two 
hours  before  we  were  relieved.  At  no  time  during  the  war 
did  his  division  do  better  fighting.  The  writer  heard  Gen- 
eral Lee  tell  General  Cooke  that  night  that  he  (Gen.  Cooke), 
and  Kirkland,  with  their  brigades,  had  held  25,000  Yankees 
in  check  for  more  than  two  hours.  Our  loss  was  not  heavy, 
but  the  enemy's  was  very  great.  There  seemed  to  be  as 
many  dead  men  in  our  front  as  we  had  men  engaged.  The 
ground  on  which  we  fought  was  a  dense  thicket  of  small 
grow^th,  which  was  cut  dowm  by  minie  balls  before  we  were 
relieved,  so  that  we  could  see  the  enemy's  lines  as  they  would 
come  up  to  relieve  one  line  after  another,  which  they  did 
about  every  fifteen  or  twenty  minutes.  And  to  show  that 
the  undergTowth  w^as  cut  down  principally  by  our  balls,  the 
tree  tops  in  the  rear  of  us  were  cut  all  to  pieces,  while  but  few 
balls  struck  trees  near  the  ground,  showing  that  the  enemy 
shot  over  us.  We  were  relieved  a  little  before  sunset  by 
Wilcox's  Division,  and  after  dark  were  marched  out  and 
formed  in  line  in  an  old  straw  field,  where  we  lay  until  morn- 
ing. At  daylight  the  skirmish  firing  began.  At  sunrise 
the  enemy  advanced  in  several  lines.  In  the  meanwhile  a 
battery  of  small  gims  was  brought  in  and  opened  on  the  ad- 
vancing lines  of  Federals  which  were  between  us  and  the  ris- 
ing sun.  This  was  all  the  cannon  used  in  the  battle.  The 
smoke  from  the  cannon  was  so  dense  the  Captain  could  not 
see  what  he  was  doing.  The  writer  was  ordered  by  General 
Cooke  to  go  in  front  to  see  where  the  shells  were  falling.  I 
soon  saw  that  they  were  going  over  their  lines  and  doing  no 
execution  at  all.  I  informed  the  commander  of  the  distance 
of  the  enemy.  The  next  fire  he  began  to  cut  lanes  through 
the  advancing  lines,  but  the  artillery  had  time  only  for  a  few 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment.  119 

rounds,  when  General  Longstreet's  Corps  advanced  and  drove 
them  back  into  and  out  of  their  breastworks  and  took  pos- 
session of  the  same.  This  was  a  most  gallant  act.  Long- 
street  with  one  line  drove  several  lines  of  Federals  back,  leav- 
ing the  ground  strewn  with  Federal  dead.  That  night  when 
we  were  in  the  captured  breastworks  and  all  was  perfectly 
still.  Gen.  Lee  rode  across  the  line  on  the  extreme  right.  Some 
one  cried  out  "Three  cheers  for  General  Lee,"  which  was 
taken  up  on  the  right  and  went  the  rounds  to  the  extreme 
left — the  grandest  rebel  yell  of  the  war.  The  rear  guard  of 
the  retreating  Federals  fired  and  ran.  Some  of  them,  cap- 
tured a  few  days  afterward,  reported  that  several  corps  were 
ordered  back  as  they  thought  we  were  advancing. 

The  reg-iment  had  a  heavy  skirmish  on  Po  river  and  was 
severely  shelled.  The  Federals,  in  falling  back  at  this  place, 
fired  the  woods  on  us,  but  the  fire,  like  their  shells,  did  not 
stop  us  in  our  advance.     This  all  amounted  to  but  little. 

At  Spottsylvania  Court  House  we  were  engaged  on  12 
May,  but  the  loss  of  the  Forty-eighth  was  not  so  great  as  that 
of  some  other  regiments,  as  we  were  not  in  the  hottest  of  the 
battle.  However,  we  did  some  hard  marching  through  the 
brush  and  some  fighting. 

From  here  we  were  on  the  memorable  march  to  Richmond, 
and  exposed  to  an  awful  heavy  shelling  on  25  May,  near  Han- 
over. The  solid  shot  were  falling  and  bouncing  thick  on  the 
ground.  The  only  casualties  I  remember  were  Sergeant  C. 
Lawhon  and  Corporal  M.  C.  Yon,  Company  D,  Forty-eighth 
ISTorth  Carolina,  both  killed  with  the  same  shot.  Our  next  en- 
gagement was  at  a  place  called  Turkey  Bend,  or  Turkey  Hill. 
Wilcox's  Division  was  fighting  in  front  of  us,  and  a  heavy 
body  of  Federals  were  moving  on  his  left  flank.  We  were 
preparing  to  meet  them,  throwing  up  some  temporary  breast- 
works under  a  sharp  skirmish  fire.  Lieutenant  W.  C.  How- 
ard, of  Company  F,  Forty-eighth,  was  killed.  Some  four  or 
five  men  wounded,  were,  I  think,  all  of  those  lost  by  the 
Forty-eighth  in  this  engagement.  The  enemy  was  moving  in 
line  of  battle  to  our  right.  We  were  ordered  to  move  in  quick 
time  and  make  no  noise.  While  on  this  rapid  march  an 
amusing  incident  occurred,  which  I  will  relate :    We  were 

120  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

passing  througli  a  ravine  where  some  Yankee  prisoners  were 
under  guard.  A  very  large,  gruff  looking  Yankee  was  stand- 
ing up  slurring  the  rebels.  He  asked :  ''Why  do  you  rebels 
wear  such  dirty,  ragged  clotlies  ?"  An  Irishman  by  the  name 
of  Forrest,  belonging  to  Company  D,  Forty-eighth  Kegimentj 
and  as  good  a  soldier  as  was  in  the  regiment,  answered: 
"Faith  and  be  jabbers,  we  Southerners  always  put  on  our 
sorriest  clothes  when  we  kill  hogs,  and  it  is  hog  killing  day 
wath  us  now,"  pointing  to  a  dead  Yankee  near  by.  This  Avit 
of  the  Irishman  caused  a  laugh,  and  forgetting  the  order  to 
be  quiet,  some  two  or  three  men  raised  a  yell,  which  was 
taken  up  along  the  line — -a  regular  rebel  yell.  The  enemy's 
lines  halted,  broke  and  fell  back,  so  we  did  not  get  into  any 
further  engagement.  Whether  it  was  this  yell  that  caused 
them  to  fall  back,  I  cannot  say,  but  I  don't  suppose  they  knew 
we  were  near  them  until  the  yell  betrayed  our  whereabouts. 

Our  next  engagement  was  at  Cold  Harbor,  on  3  June, 
1864.  Cooke's  Brigade  was  on  the  extreme  left  of  the  Confed- 
erate lines,  only  some  cavalry  being  on  our  left.  This  was, 
with  us,  probably  the  very  hardest-fought  battle  of  the 
war.  Just  as  wc  got  in  position  on  an  old  road — and  it  was 
about  sun  up — the  Federals,  in  heavy  force,  made  a  charge 
Avhich  wc  met  and  after  a  hard  struggle,  which  lasted  some 
time,  repulsed.  They  soon  made  another  charge.  We  were  as- 
sisted in  repulsing  this  one  by  a  batteiy  of  artillery,  which 
had  just  come  up.  The  enemy  would  reinforce  and  come 
again,  but  we  repulsed  every  charge  and  during  the  day, 
working  between  attacks,  built  a  very  good  breastwork.  The 
last  of  the  several  charges  was  made  about  6  o'clock  p.  m. 
Several  lines  came  forward. 

One  line  would  fire  and  fall  down,  another  step  over,  fire 
and  fall  down,  each  line  getting  nearer  us,  until  they  got 
MTthin  sixty  or  seventy-five  yards  of  some  portions  of  our 
line,  but  finding  themselves  cut  to  pieces  so  badly,  they  fell 
back  in  a  little  disorder.  Our  men  seemed  to  rise  all  at 
once,  Avith  a  rebel  yell,  and  poured  lead  into  them,  cutting 
down  numbers  of  them.  Tlic  old  field  in  front  of  us  was 
almost  covered  witli  their  dead.  At  no  time  during  the  war 
did  the  Forty-eighth  and  Twenty-seventh  do  better  fighting. 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment.  121 

Our  position  was  a  good  one,  and  an  important  one  to  be  held. 
We  lost  several  good  men  in  this  battle.  Lieutenant  M.  D. 
Clegg,  of  Company  D,  was  wounded. 

At  9  o'clock  that  night  we  took  up  the  line  of  march,  went 
from  place  to  place  for  several  days,  spending  about  one  week 
at  Deep  Bottom.  At  this  place  we  had  no  battle,  except 
with  flies.  I  never  saw  so  many  flies  in  all  my  life.  Then  we 
went  to  the  right  of  Petersburg.  We  were  on  the  line  about 
one  half  mile  to  the  right  of  the  ''Blow-up,"  as  it  was  called. 
The  day  before  the  springing  of  that  mine  we  were  ordered  to 
the  left  of  Petersburg  and  had  crossed  the  Appomattox,  and 
were  marching  toward  Richmond,  when  we  heard  the  ex- 
plosion. We  returned  and  on  the  next  day  took  up  our  quar- 
ters in  the  trenches.  The  Forty-eighth  occupied  that  posi- 
tion which  had  been  blown  up.  Here  we  remained  for  sev- 
eral weeks,  when  Ave  were  moved  to  the  extreme  right  and 
built  our  winter  quarters  on  Hatcher's  Run.  General  Heth 
was  ordered  to  attack  the  enemy  whenever  he  attempted  to  ex- 
tend his  lines.  So  we  had  several  engagements,  one  at  the 
Yellow  House.  This  was  in  August,  1864,  and  on  the  25th 
of  the  same  month  we  were  in  the  battle  of  Reams  Station, 
where  we  charged  a  heavy  force  of  Federals  behind  a  breast- 
work, broke  their  line  and  captured  several  hundred  prisoners 
and  several  pieces  of  artillery.  This  was  a  brave  assault. 
Two  attacks  had  been  made  by  other  troops  (I  forget  which) 
that  had  failed  to  dislodge  them.  This  had  given  the  enemy 
courage,  and  was  rather  discouraging  to  us,  who  had  to  make 
the  third  attack.  The  timber  for  fifty  or  seventy-five  yards 
in  front  of  their  works  had  been  cut  down,  the  limbs  sharp- 
ened, making  it  very  difficult  to  reach  the  works.  The  posi- 
tion of  the  Forty-eighth  was  near  the  centre  of  the  line,  tlie 
timber  in  our  front  being  thinner  than  in  other  portions.  We 
succeeded  in  gaining  the  works  sooner  than  those  on  the  right 
or  left,  who  had  more  brush  to  go  through.  The  first  part 
of  the  line  broken  was  on  the  left  wing  of  the  Forty-eighth, 
but  the  whole  line  was  surrendered  in  a  very  few  minutes. 
We  lost  several  in  this  charge.  Lieutenant  M.  D.  Clegg,  of 
Company  D,  was  killed  on  the  works  about  the  time  the  line 

122  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'6o. 

was  broken.  Lieutenant  C.  W.  Shaw,  of  Company  D,  was 
wounded  before  be  reached  the  works. 

The  next  day  we  marched  back  to  Petersburg  to  our  posi- 
tion on  the  right  of  the  lines.  The  next  march  we  took,  and 
I  think  it  was  in  December,  was  to  Bellliekl,  where  we  had  a 
skirmish  with  Yankee  cavalry.  Sergeant  H.  B.  Cox,  of  Com- 
pany D,  lost  his  foot  by  a  shell.  This  was  all  the  loss  I  re- 
member. We  remained  on  Hatcher's  Run  until  the  Confed- 
erate lines  were  broken,  2  April,  1865.  We  had  several  skir- 
mishes while  here.  On  25  March  the  troops  on  our  left  had 
made  a  charge  on  the  enemy's  lines  at  Hare's  Hill  and  had 
carried  their  front  works  near  the  Appomattox  river,  but  had 
to  abandon  them  the  same  day.  We  were  ordered  around  there 
in  the  morning  and  returned  in  the  evening  to  our  quarters 
to  find  the  Yankees  in  possession  of  our  picket  post.  They 
had  captured  all  of  our  pickets  and  could  have  been  in  pos- 
session of  our  breastworks  and  winter  quarters  if  they  had 
known  it,  as  we  had  left  only  a  few  men  in  camp,  who  were 
unfit  for  duty.  Captain  Henry  R.  McKinney,  of  the 
Forty-sixth  Regiment,  who  was  commander  of  the  brigade 
sharpshooters,  formed  his  line  on  the  right,  near  the  creek, 
and  made  a  very  brave  and  successful  charge,  recapturing 
our  picket  post  in  this  charge.  Lieutenant  Austin,  of  the 
Forty-eighth  Regiment,  a  very  brave  and  good  officer,  was 
killed,  and  I  do  not  remember  that  any  other  was  killed  or 
wounded.  T  believe  that  Lieutenant  Austin  was  the  last 
man  killed  in  the  Forty-eighth  as  I  do  not  remember  any  oth- 
er being  killed  afterwards. 

We  only  liold  our  picket  post  about  two  days,  as  our  pickets 
Avere  captured  on  2S  or  29  March,  and  on  2  April,  the  lines  to 
our  left  were  broken.  We  took  up  the  line  of  Uiarch  to  the 
right,  and  crossing  the  creek,  moved  to  Jarrett's  Station, 
where  in  the  evening  we  had  a  skirmish,  but  were  about  to  be 
surrounded  and  made  haste  to  get  away  and  were  on  the  mem- 
orable retreat  to  Appomattox  Court  House,  losing  more  or  less 
of  our  men  every  day. 

The  last  skirmish  we  were  in  was  on  Thursday  evening 
before  the  surrender  on  Sunday,  0  April,  1865.  The  Twen- 
ty-seventh and  Forty-eighth  Regiments  were  ordered  out  to 

Forty-Eighth  Regiment.  123 

the  right  to  protect  the  wagon  trains,  but  before  we  arrived 
the  enemy  had  set  fire  to  a  part  of  the  wagons,  and  a  heavy 
force  of  infantry  was  marching  up  the  road  the  wagons  were 
on.  Here  we  had  a  narrow  escape.  A  squadron  of  cavalry  got 
in  our  rear,  cut  us  off  and  we  were  scattered  on  both  sides  of 
the  road.  Several  of  our  men  were  captured.  Every  man  was 
left  to  take  care  of  himself.  Company  D,  which  had  only 
thirty-seven  men  at  Petersburg  2  April,  had  been  reduced  to 
eleven  and  in  this  affair  lost  ten,  leaving  only  one  man  and  the 
Captain  to  witness  the  surrender.  On  Sunday  morning,  and 
in  the  race  through  the  woods  on  Thursday  evening,  the  Cap- 
tain lost  his  hat,  running  from  a  Yankee  horseman,  and 
would  have  been  captured  had  it  not  been  for  a  deep  gully 
near  by  into  Avliich  he  went  and  got  out  of  the  horse's  way. 

At  the  surrender  the  Forty-eighth  Regiment  had  been  re- 
duced in  number  until  we  did  not  have  men  enough  to  make 
more  than  one  full  company. 

K'ow  a  few  words  in  regard  to  the  officers  of  the  regiment, 
and  I  close. 

Colonel  R.  C.  Hill  was  a  very  fine  military  man,  very  strict 
and  much  beloved  by  his  men,  but  being  in  bad  health  he  was 
often  absent.  He  only  commanded  the  regiment  in  the  cam- 
paign of  1862  and  1863.     He  died  in  December,  1863. 

Lieutenant-Colonel  S.  H.  Walkup  was  made  Colonel.  He 
was  one  of  the  bravest  officers  in  the  Army  of  J^orthem  Vir- 
ginia. He  ^^■as  often  laughed  at  on  dress  parade  and  brigade 
drill  for  his  awkwardness,  but  when  in  battle  all  that  knew 
him  were  satisfied  that  Walkup  was  there  and  that  his  regi- 
ment would  do  its  duty. 

Lieutenant-Colonel  A.  A.  Hill  was  a  good  and  kind  officer. 
All  his  men  liked  him.  He  made  a  very  fine  appearance  and 
was  always  with  his  men.  I  think  he  was  one  of  the  two 
or  three  officers  of  the  regiment  who  missed  no  part  of  the 
march  or  duty  imposed  on  the  regiment  during  the  memora- 
ble campaign  of  1864. 

Major  B.  R.  Huske  was  a  very  mild,  gentle  and  kind- 
hearted  man,  a  well  posted  and  good  officer.  The  whole  regi- 
ment was  grieved  at  his  death,  which  occurred  on  15  July, 

124  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

1862,  from  wounds  received  in  the  battle  of  French's  Farm, 
25  June. 

Captain  F.  L.  Wiatt,  of  Company  A,  vas  promoted  to 
Major  at  the  death  of  Iluske.  He  was  an  old  man,  and  won 
the  respect  of  the  whole  regiment;  was  wounded  at  Harper's 
Ferry,  15  September,  1862,  and  resigned  in  October  of  the 
same  year  and  was  with  us  only  a  short  while. 

Captain  W.  H.  Jones,  of  Company  G,  was  made  Major  on 
the  death  of  Colonel  Hill,  4  December,  1863,  but  owing  to 
bad  health  was  not  with  us  much.  He  was  a  very  good  man 
and  kind  hearted.  He  loved  his  men  and  was  loved  in  re- 

H.  A.  Gunter,  of  Wake,  was  our  first  Adjutant.  From  some 
cause  he  was  not  with  us  in  the  battle  of  French's  Farm.  Lieu- 
tenant J.  H.  Anderson,  of  Company  D,  was  acting  Adjutant 
and  was  wounded  in  that  .battle.  Adjutant  Gunter  was 
wounded  in  the  battle  of  Sharpsburg,  and  died  soon  after 
from  wounds. 

Lieutenant  John  R.  Winchester,  of  Company  A,  then  be- 
came Adjutant  and  was  with  us  all  the  while.  He  was  a 
very  good  officer  and  soldier.  He  was  a  cheerful  and  lively 
man  and  was  generally  ready  for  any  fun  with  officers  or 
men.     The  men  all  liked  Winchester. 

Several  of  the  company  officers  are  worthy  of  special  ref- 
erence in  this  history,  and  the  -svriter  would  be  glad  to  give 
it,  but  failing  to  get  any  answer  to  his  letters  of  inquiry  and 
having  to  depend  solely  on  his  memory,  can  not  recall  the 
names  and  company  to  which  they  belonged.  Each  company 
had  its  brave  men.  Many  of  these  are  entitled  to  mention  in 
this  sketch,  but  for  the  reason  stated  above  the  writer  will 
have  to  leave  them  out,  but  feels  assured  that  he  can  say  that 
the  Forty-eighth  Regiment  did  as  much  hard  marching  and 
fighting  as  any  regiment  from  North  Carolina.  From  first 
to  last,  it  had  about  1,300  men,  many  of  them  as  brave  and  as 
obedient  as  any  soldiers  in  the  Confederate  army. 

W.  H.  H.  Lawhon. 
Moore  Co.,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 





1.    S.  D.  Ramseur.  Colonel. 
2     James  T.  Davis,  Lieut.  Colonel. 
3.     John  A.  Fleniniing,  Lieut. -Colonel. 
(Killed  at  Petersburg  ) 

4.  Cicero  Durliaiii.  Captain  and  A.  Q.  M. 

5.  Henry  A.  Chambers.  Captain,  Co.  O- 

6.  Edwin  V.  Harris,  Captain,  Co.  E. 


By  THOMAS  R.  ROULHAC,  First  Lieutenant  Company  D. 

The  Forty-ninth  Kegiment  of  Xorth  Carolina  State  Troops 
was  composed  of  ten  companies  of  infantry,  raised  in  the 
counties  of  ]\IcDowell,  1  ;  Cleveland,  2 ;  Iredell,  2  ;  Moore, 
1 ;  Mecklenburg,  1 ;  Gaston,  1 ;  Catawba,  1  ;  and  Lincoln,  1, 
which  assembled  at  Garysburg,  in  the  month  of  March,  1862. 
It  was  constituted,  at  its  formation,  wholly  of  volunteers, 
many  of  whom  had  sought  service  in  the  earlier  periods  of 
the  war,  and  all  of  whom  had  responded  to  the  call  for  sol- 
diers, as  soon  as  it  was  practicable  to  furnish  them  with  arms 
and  equipments.  In  the  latter  part  of  March,  or  early  in 
April,  1862,  organization  of  the  regiment  was  effected,  by 
the  election  of : 

Stephen  D.  Ramseue,  Colonel. 
William  A.  Eliason,  Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Lee  M.  McAfee,  Major. 
Lieutenant  Richmond^  Adjutant. 
George  L.  Phifek^  Sergeant-Major. 
Captain  E.  P.  Geoege^  Commissary. 
Captain  J.  W.  Wilson^  Quartermaster. 
De.  John  K.  Ruffin^  Surgeon. 
Reginald  H.  Goode,  Assistant  Surgeon. 
Peter  iSTicholson,  Chaplain. 

The  non-commission  staff  was  completed  with  James  Hol- 
land, Quartermaster-Sergeant ;  Harrison  Hall,  Hospital 
Steward,  and  James  H.  Geiger,  Ordnance  Sergeant. 

The  history  of  Ramseur  is  known  to  all  the  people  of  J^J'orth 
Carolina,  ^o  one  of  her  sons  ever  contributed,  by  his  devo- 
tion to  her  service,  skill  and  heroic  bravery  on  the  field  of  bat- 
tle, and  fearless  exposure  and  ultimate  sacrifice  of  his  life, 
more  to  the  historic  lustre  of  the  name  and  honor  of  this,  one 

126  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'(55. 

of  the  greatest  of  the  American  States.  He  gave  untiring  en- 
ergy and  masterly  judgment  to  the  rapid  organization,  drill, 
discipline  and  preparation  for  active  service  in  the  field  of  his 
regiment.  A  graduate  of  the  Military  Academy  at  West 
Point,  and  fur  a  few  years  an  officer  in  the  regular  army,  en- 
doAved  A\ith  a  mind  of  great  strength  and  quickness,  constant 
in  purpose,  daring  and  brilliant  in  execution,  prepared  for 
the  science  of  war  and  revelling  in  its  dangers  and  fierce  en- 
counters, and  with  a  spirit  fired  with  a  determination  to  excel 
in  the  profession  of  arms ;  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  that,  un- 
der his  capable  authority  and  the  influence  of  his  stirring  ex- 
ample, the  regiment  rapidly  took  form  and  shape  as  a  strong, 
disciplined  and  efficient  body  of  men ;  nor  that  the  impress  of 
his  spirit  and  the  effect  of  his  training  should,  as  its  subse- 
quent career  demonstrated,  be  retained,  not  alone  to  charac- 
terize the  natural  development  of  veterans,  but,  likewise,  as  a 
part  of  its  heritage  of  honor,  so  long  as  the  flag  under  which 
he  arrayed  them  claimed  an  existence  amid  the  heraldry  of 
nations.  Short  as  was  the  length  of  his  authority  over  them, 
the  force  of  his  activity,  zeal  and  fearlessness  was  felt  and 
recognized  by  the  Forty-ninth  (Ramseur's)  Regiment  through 
all  its  struggles  and  hardships,  in  the  camp,  on  the 
march,  in  making  or  meeting  assaults,  advancing  or  retreat- 
ing, in  sunshine  and  storm,  through  the  long  and 
w^earing  siege  of  Petersbnrg,  where  it  rushed  alone  into  the 
cavalier  line  after  Grant's  mine  was  sprung,  and  at 
skirmish  distance  in  the  works  held  the  Federal  advance 
at  bay  for  three  hours — the  slender  link  by  which 
the  two  halves  of  General  Lee's  army  were  united,  until  re- 
inforcements could  be  brought  seven  miles  to  retake  the  cra- 
ter; both  when  disaster  fell  fast  and  fierce  on  the  cause  for 
which  they  fought,  as  well  as  when  before  their  steady  charge 
the  foe  gave  Avay,  and  victory  perched  on  their  well-worn  bat- 
tle flag;  when  deatli  had  thinned  its  ranks  and  suffering  made 
gaunt  the  survivors,  until  at  last  its  lines  were  crushed — its 
shout  and  shot  the  last  to  be  heard — on  the  field  of  Five 
Forks.  N^orth  Carolina,  whose  soil  has  been  made  sacred 
by  the  ashes  of  so  many  great  and  strong  men,  her  jurists,  her 
statesmen,  her  magistrates,  her  teachers,  her  ministers  and 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  127 

priests,  lier  soldiers  and  her  patriots,  holds  within  her  bosom 
the  dust  of  no  nobler  or  more  perfect  man  than  that  of 
Stephen  Dobson  Ramseiir, 

The  regiment  was  officered  by  men  of  education,  and,  for 
the  most  part,  in  the  full  vigor  of  young  manhood. 

Its  rank  and  file  were  taken  from  the  Piedmont  region  of 
the  State,  which  then  contained,  as  extended  observation  ena- 
bles the  writer  to  say,  a  population  second  to  none  for  self- 
reliance,  integrity,  just  respect  for  authority  and  modest 
worth  and  courage.  Many  of  them  were  descendants  of  the 
people  who  made  the  Honiets'  Xest  of  North  Carolina  a 
fortress  of  independence  and  a  terror  to  their  country's  invad- 

Soon  after  its  organization  Lieutenant-Colonel  Eliason  re- 
signed, Major  McAfee  succeeding  him,  and  Captain  John  A. 
Fleming,  of  Company  A,  was  promoted  to  Major. 


When  the  operations  of  McClellan's  army  around  Rich- 
mon,  culminating  in  the  seven  days'  battles,  began,  the  regi- 
ment was  assigned  to  General  Robert  Ransom's  Brigade  and 
participated  in  several  of  those  engagements.  At  Malvern 
Hill  it  bore  a  conspicuous  part,  leaving  its  dead  and  wounded 
on  the  field  next  in  proximity  to  the  enemy's  works  to  those  of 
the  Twenty-sixth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  then  commanded 
by  Colonel  Zebulon  B.  Vance. 

In  this  ill-advised  assault  the  command  suffered  heavily  in 
killed  and  wounded.  Colonel  Ramseur  among  the  latter.  His 
handling  of  the  regiment  and  its  conduct  during  those  con- 
flicts led  to  his  prompt  promotion  to  Brigadier-General,  and 
to  his  assignment,  as  soon  as  he  recovered  from  his  wound,  to 
another  command. 

On  1  November,  1862,  Lieutenant-Colonel  McAfee  was 
commissioned  Colonel,  Major  Fleming  was  promoted  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, and  Captain  Pinckney  B.  Chambers,  of  Com- 
pany C.  was  made  ]\Iajor.  During  the  summer  of  1862  Ad- 
jutant Richmond  fell  a  victim  to  typhoid  fever,  and  the  life 
of  this  brave  and  capable  ofiicer  was  thus  destroyed — no  less 
an  offering  on  the  altar  of  patriotism  than  if  he  had  laid  it 

128  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

down  on  the  battletiokl.  Cicero  A.  Durham,  of  Cleveland 
county,  prior  to  the  war  a  cadet  of  the  Military  Institute  of 
General  D.  IT.  Hill,  at  Charlotte,  and  who  afterwards  became 
so  famous  throughout  the  army  as  the  fighting  quartermaster, 
was  appointed  adjutant.  He  sei-ved  in  this  capacity  with 
great  efficiency  and  distinction  until  2  May,  1863,  when  he 
was  promoted  Assistant  Quartermaster  to  succeed  Captain 
George,  who  was  transferred  to  other  duties.  William  H. 
Dinkins,  who  had  been  Scrgeant-Major,  was  appointed  Adju- 
tant, and  continued  in  that  position  during  the  remainder  of 
the  war,  actively  on  duty  until  some  time  in  the  spring  of 
1864,  wlion  bad  health  caused  his  absence  to  the  close  of  hos- 

By  reason  of  the  losses  in  front  of  Richmond  in  this  cam- 
paign, both  of  officers  and  men,  changes  in  the  roster  of  of- 
ficers were  numerous. 

It  has  been  impossible  at  this  late  day  to  procure  anything 
like  full  or  correct  reports  of  the  killed,  wounded,  or  missing 
in  these  battles.  The  aggregate  was  considerable,  and  the 
casualties  told  the  story  of  the  fierce  struggles  in  which  the 
command  was  engaged,  but  access  to  the  reports  cannot  be 

George  W.  Lytle  succeeded  to  the  Captaincy  of  Company 
A;  Henry  A.  Chambers  was,  on  10  December,  1862,  ap- 
pointed to  the  command  of  Company  C ;  Columbus  H.  Dixon 
was  made  Captain  of  Company  G,  on  lY  November, 
1862,  in  the  place  of  Captain  Rufus  Roberts;  Charles  F. 
Connor,  on  1  February,  1863,  succeeded  Captain  W.  W.  Che- 
nault,  of  Company  I,  and  George  L.  Phifer  became  Captain 
of  Company  K,  in  the  place  of  Peter  Z.  Baxter,  on  24  July, 
1863  ;  changes  occasioned  by  the  losses  of  1862.  Correspond- 
ing changes  ensued  in  the  other  grades  of  company  officers. 


Fi'oiii  Kiclnnond  the  scene  of  action  was  speedily  trans- 
ferred by  General  Lee  to  the  Potomac  and  beyond ;  and  tlien 
back  to  the  capture  of  Harper's  Ferry,  thence  to  Sharpsburg, 
or  Antietam,  the  command  moved  under  tlie  orders  of  that 
groat    fignre    in    our    military    history.      At    Shai'psburg    it 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  129 

shared  with  the  rest  of  the  brigade  the  honor  of  retaking 
and  holding  the  famous  "West  Woods."  Here  the  gallant 
Lieutenant  Greenlea  Flemming,  brother  of  Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Flemming,  was  killed  and  a  dozen  men  of  his  com- 
pany killed  or  wounded  by  a  shell  which  fell  in  its 
ranks  as  the  brigade  was  moving  by  the  flank  to  change  its 
position  just  before  sunset.  It  was  the  rear  company  of  the 
Forty-ninth  and  Colonel  M.  W.  Ransoin  and  Adjutant  Wal- 
ter C*lark,  who  were  riding  at  the  head  of  the  Thirty-fifth^ 
were  close  behind  and  barely  escaped  the  shell  which  was  evi- 
dently directed  by  the  enemy's  signal  corps  at  the  moving 
line  of  bayonets,  glistening  in  the  setting  sunlight,  for  it 
came  from  a  battery  on  the  other  side  of  the  Antietam. 
Returning  to  Virginia,  the  regiment  was  in  the  battle  of  Fred- 
ericksburg, beginning  11  December,  1862,  where  it  took  posi- 
tion to  the  left  of  the  plank  road,  and  during  the  four  days 
that  the  fighting  there  continued  it  was  subjected  to  heavy 
cannonading  and  some  infantry  fighting,  several  officers  and 
men  being  killed  and  wounded. 

After  this  battle  the  Forty-ninth  remained  in  winter  quar- 
ters near  Fredericksburg  until  3  January,  1863,  when  it  was 
marched,  by  the  Telegraph  road,  to  Hanover  Junction,  thence 
to  Richmond,  and  from  there  to  Petersburg,  which  it  reached 
on  the  evening  of  the  7th,  and  remained  until  tlie  1 7th,  when 
it  left  for  eastern  ^North  Carolina. 

From  this  time  on  until  the  spring  of  1864,  the  regiment, 
w^ith  the  Twenty-fourth,  Tw^enty-fifth,  Thirty-fifth  and  Fifty- 
sixth  Regiments,  composed  Ransom's  Brigade  which  protected 
the  line  of  the  Wilmington  &  W^eldon  Railroad  from  those 
two  terminal  points,  and  that  of  the  road  from  Goldsboro 
to  below  Ivinston ;  being  constantly  on  the  move,  appear- 
ing one  day  at  the  other  end  of  the  line  from  that  at 
which  they  w^ere  the  day  before,  and  vigilantly  guarding  the 
teri'itory  of  Eastern  ^STorth  Carolina,  from  which  such  abund- 
ant supplies  w^ere  contributed  for  the  support  of  our  armies. 
Strategically,  it  was  the  right  wing  of  the  Army  of  Vir- 
ginia ;  and  General  Scott,  whose  plan  of  camy<aigu  delineated 

130  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'G5. 

ill:  the  beginning  of  hostilities,  of  intersecting  the  Confedera- 
cy, was  verified  by  events,  and  the  consummation  of  wliicli  re- 
sulted in  our  downfall,  declared  that,  after  the  opening  of  the 
Mississippi,  a  heavy  column  pushed  through  the  gateway  of 
Eastern  North  Carolina,  would  cause  the  abandonment  of 
Virginia,  and  the  dissevering  of  the  most  formidable  p()rti.)n 
of  the  Confederacy.  The  closing  events  of  the  war  demon- 
strated the  accuracy  of  his  judgment  and  his  consummate 
skill  as  a  strategist.  That  it  was  not  done  sooner  must  con- 
vince the  student  of  history  how  severely  taxed  were  the  pow- 
ers and  resources  of  the  Federal  government  to  meet  and  hold 
in  check  the  main  annies  of  the  South,  and  that  its  dismem- 
berment was  deferred  so  long  alone  by  the  magnificent  cour- 
age and  endurance  of  its  soldiery.  Ransom's  Brigade  was 
the  most  important  force  in  the  section  mentioned  for 
many  months ;  and,  occupying  in  <|uick  succession  Weldon, 
Warsaw,  Kenan sville,  Goldsboro,  Kinston,  Wilming-ton  and 
Greenville,  it  was  always  on  hand  to  confront  any  movement 
of  tlie  enemy  in  that  region.  Occasionally  a  sharp  brush 
with  the  enemy's  forces  was  necessary  to  warn  him  of  the  foe 
in  his  path.  From  'New  Bern,  Plymouth  and  Washington, 
in  Eastern  Carolina,  and  from  Norfolk  and  Suffolk,  in  Vir- 
ginia, the  Federals  Avould  send  out  expeditions ;  but,  in  each 
instance,  no  great  distance  would  be  traversed  before  they 
were  confronted  by  Ransom's  Brigade.  Besides  the  pro- 
tection thus  afforded  to  the  main  army  in  Virginia,  an  exten- 
sive and  fertile  section  of  the  country  was  thus  kept  open  for 
supplies  of  com  and  meat  to  the  Confederate  forces ;  and  it 
was  not  rare  for  other  supplies  and  needed  articles  to  reach 
our  lines  through  that  territory.  MeanAvhile,  the  ranks  of  all 
the  regiments  in  that  brigade  were  recruited ;  drill  and  disci- 
pline were  advanced ;  and  equipment  was  perfected ;  so  that, 
when  in  1864  we  were  made  a  component  part  of  General 
Beauregard's  command  between  Richmond  and  Petersburg, 
on  the  south  side  of  the  James,  it  is  more  than  probable  that 
there  was  not  in  the  Confederate  service  any  brigade,  con- 
taining a  greater  number  of  effective,  well-trained,  veteran 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  131 


On  22  Maj,  1863,  a  sharp  affair  occurred  at  Gum  Swamp, 
in  Craven  or  Lenoir  county,  in  which  the  Fifty-sixth  and 
Twenty-fifth  Regiments,  owing  to  the  negligence  of  our  cav- 
alry, were  surrounded  by  a  considerable  force  of  the  enemy ; 
^nd,  after  losing  about  170  prisoners,  the  remainder  of  those 
two  commands  barely  escaped  capture  by  fighting  their  way 
through  the  surrounding  forces.  During  this  movement 
Companies  C,  D  and  H,  of  the  Forty-ninth,  were  picketing 
at  Moseley's  Creek,  a  parallel  road  from  ]^ew  Bern.  The  bal- 
ance of  the  regiment  being  moved  from  Kinston  to  the  sup- 
port of  the  troops  at  Gum  Swamp,  by  their  timely  arrival 
stayed  the  retreat  and  checked  the  attack. 

The  invasion  of  Pennsylvania  during  the  summer  of  this 
jear  by  General  Lee  occupied  the  attention  of  most  of  the 
Federal  troops,  and  movements  elsewhere  were  generally  of 
slight  importance. 

During  the  presence  of  our  army  across  the  Potomac  a  de- 
monstration in  considerable  force,  probably  with  the  hope  of 
recalling  some  of  the  troops  from  General  Lee  to  oppose  it, 
was  made  towards  Richmond  from  the  direction  of  the  Chick- 
ahominy ;  and  Ransom's  Brigade  was  hurried  by  rail  to  meet 
the  threatened  raid.  At  Bottom's  Bridge  the  Federal  column 
was  encountered ;  but  after  two  days  of  brisk  skirmishing  its 
commander  declined  to  attempt  the  passage  of  that  stream. 
Some  losses  in  killed  and  wounded  were  sustained  by  our 
forces,  and  the  enemy  suffered  to  as  great  an  extent,  with  the 
addition  of  some  prisoners  captured  by  us.  The  return  of 
the  raiding  column  to  York  river  was  precipitate ;  and  after 
a  few  days  our  command  was  back  at  its  old  duties  in  l^orth 
Carolina.  During  the  residue  of  the  summer  and  succeeding 
fall  and  winter  it  was  constantly  on  the  move. 

On  9  June,  18G3,  Thomas  R.  Roulhac  was  appointed  Ser- 
geant-Major  from  Manly's  Battery,  which  was  then  in  the 
army  of  Northern  Virginia.  In  the  latter  part  of  October 
he  joined  the  regiment  at  Garysburg,  and  served  in  that 
capacity  and  as  Acting  Adjutant,  until  appointed  First  Lieu- 
tenant of  Company  D,  in  June,  1864. 

On  28  January,  1864,  the  command  left  Weldon  for  Kin- 

132  North  Carolina  Troops,    18<Jl-'05. 

stoii,  and  there  became  a  part  of  the  forces  under  Generals 
Pickett  and  Hoke  in  the  movement  against  New  Bern.  Gen- 
eral Pickett  proceeded  ddwn  the  Dover  road  from  Kinston 
with  Corse's  Brigade  of  his  own  division,  and  those  of  Hoke 
and  Clingman,  of  North  Carolina,  and  attacked  a  camp  of  the 
enemy  at  Batclielor's  Creek,  capturing  about  four  liundred 
prisoners,  two  pieces  of  artillery,  a  large  numl)er  of  small 
arms,  horses  and  camp  equipage,  and  drove  the  entire  Federal 
force  precipitately  towards  New  Bern. 

ATTACK    on    new    BEKN. 

Ransom's  Brigade  with  Barton's  and  Kemper's  Virginia 
Brigades,  some  cavalry  and  artillery,  all  under  command  of 
General  Barton,  crossed  the  Trent  river,  and  proceeded  from 
near  Trenton  down  the  south  side  of  the  Trent  to  the  south  of 
New  Bern.  Meanwhile  General  J.  G.  Martin  had  moved 
with  his  brigade  of  North  Carolina  troops  from  Wilmington 
towards  Morehead  City.  About  daylight  on  the  morning  of 
1  P'eluMuiry  the  picket  post  of  the  Federals  was  reached  and 
surprised  without  the  escape  of  a  single  num.  Every  precau- 
tion had  been  taken,  by  the  detention  of  negroes  and  every 
other  person  likely  to  be  friendly  to  the  enemy  in  the  section 
through  which  we  had  hurriedly  moved,  to  prevent  informa- 
tion of  the  movement  from  reaching  the  commander  of  the 
Federals ;  and  it  is  now  certain  that  a  complete  surprise  to 
him  was  etfected.  As  soon  as  the  picket  post  was  takcTi,  each 
regiment  of  Ransom's  Brigade  was  ordered  to  throw  forward 
a  company  as  skirmishers.  Company  C,  of  the  Forty-ninth, 
being  selecte^l  from  that  regiment.  This  was  done  largely 
on  account  of  the  well-earned  reputation  of  its  couunander, 
Captain  Henry  A.  Chambers,  for  prudence,  vigor  and  cour- 
age. No  officer  of  his  rank  in  the  Confederate  service  was 
ever  more  faithful,  constant  and  zealous  in  the  discharge  of 
every  duty  on  every  occasion  and  in  every  position  than  this 
distingiiislied  and  conscientious  commander  of  Company  C — - 
youthful  in  age,  but  clear-minded,  steadfast  and  useful  in 
all  emergencies,  ripe  in  judgment  beyond  his  years,  and  as 
fearless  as  a  lion.  This  company  and  the  whole  line  of 
skirmishers  were  pushed  forward  rapidly  under  the  orders 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  133 

of  Captain  Cicero  A.  Durham,  the  fighting  Quartermaster, 
until  the  enemy's  fortifications  were  reached.  It  was  the 
opinion  of  the  oiRcers  above  mentioned  that,  if  the  cavalry 
had  been  dismounted  and  advanced  with  the  skirmishers,  the 
works  could  have  been  easily  taken.  Instead  of  this  being 
done,  the  artillery  was  moved  to  the  front  and  a  duel  was  be- 
gun between  our  few  field  pieces  and  the  heavier  guns  in  the 
redoubts,  which  resulted  in  nothing.  That  New  Bern  could 
have  been  taken  in  a  short  time  and  without  any  considerable 
loss,  if  any  vigorous  pressing  had  been  undertaken  by  our 
troops  on  either  side  of  the  river,  is  now  well  ascertained. 
Indeed,  General  Martin  captured  a  courier  from  General  Pal- 
mer, the  commander  of  the  Federals  at  New  Bern,  bearing 
a  dispatch  to  the  ofiicer  in  command  at  Morehead  City,  stat- 
ing that,  imless  reinforcements  were  quickly  sent  him,  he 
must  surrender. 

It  was  during  this  expedition  to  New  Bern  that  Com- 
mander Wood,  of  the  Confederate  Navy,  made  his  daring  at- 
tack upon  the  gunboat,  ''Underwriter,"  and  from  under  the 
very  guns  of  their  fortifications,  captured  and  cut  it  out,  and 
finding  it  disabled  by  the  shells  of  the  Federal  batteries,  de- 
stroyed it.  Beyond  these  small  results,  however,  nothing 
was  accomplished ;  imless  the  whole  movement  was  intended 
as  a  demonstration,  merely. 

During  the  entire  day  of  2  February,  Company  D,  under 
Lieutenant  Barrett,  and  Company  E,  imder  Captain  E.  V. 
Harris,  occupied  the  skirmish  line,  the  enemy  keeping  close 
within  their  works,  and  not  venturing  any  movement  or 
scarcely  firing  a  shot  from  small  arms  or  artillery. 

On  the  night  of  the  2d  the  column  retraced  its  steps  through 
the  deep,  muddy  swamp  roads,  illuminated  by  the  blazing 
pine  trees,  whose  turpentine  boxes  had  caught  from  the  camp 
fires  on  the  way  down. 

capture  of   SUFFOLK. 

The  next  expedition,  after  returning  to  our  winter  quar- 
ters, was  from  Weldon,  via  Franklin  and  South  Mills,  in 
the  direction  of  Norfolk.  The  enemy  was  met  along  the 
Pismal  Swamp  canal,  driven  in  after  the  capture  of  a  num- 

134  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'6o. 

ber  of  prisoners  by  Colonel  Dearing,  in  command  of  the  cav* 
airy,  and  the  capture  of  Norfolk  threatened.  Tliis  march 
was  made  in  very  severe  weather  in  the  early  part  of  March^ 
1864.  It  was  immediately  succeeded  by  the  attack  on  and 
capture  of  Suffolk,  on  9  March,  1864.  This  was  a  most  ex- 
citing little  affair,  in  which  our  troops  met  negro  soldiers  for 
the  first  time.  Quick  work  was  made  of  their  line  of  bat- 
tle, and  their  retreat  was  soon  converted  into  a  runaway. 
Their  camps  were  hastily  abandoned,  arms  thrown  away,  and, 
discarding  everything  which  could  impede  flight,  they  made 
their  way  to  the  swamps.  One  piece  of  artillery  and  a  large 
number  of  horses  captured,  and  a  loss  in  killed  and  wounded 
of  several  score  of  the  enemy  were  the  results.  It  was  here 
that  our  Quartermaster,  Captain  Durham,  placing  himself 
at  the  head  of  a  squad  of  cavalry,  charged  into  and  put  to 
flight  a  regiment  of  the  enemy's  horse.  A  number  of  them 
took  refuge  in  a  house  in  the  suburbs  of  Suffolk,  and  began  a 
brisk  and  hurtful  Are  upon  Durham's  men.  He  charged  the 
house  and  succeeded,  after  a  surrender  had  been  refused,  in 
setting  fire  to  it.  They  continued  the  fight,  until  the  flames 
enveloped  the  building,  and  all  of  its  occupants  were  de- 
stroyed. The  firing  of  our  artillery  was  excellent,  every  shot 
taking  effect  among  the  fleeing  ebony  horsemen.  At  a  swift 
run,  by  sections,  Branch's  Battery  kept  shot  and  shell  in  theii* 
midst  as  long  as  the  fleeing  cavalry  could  be  reached. 

The  brigade  held  Suffolk  all  that  day  and  the  next.  A 
heavy  column  was  moved  from  ISTorfolk  and  Fortress  Monroe 
to  meet  us ;  but,  though  we  offered  battle,  no  attack  was  made, 
and  Avhen  we  advanced,  with  Companies  D  and  K,  of  the 
Forty-ninth,  in  the  brigade  front  as  skirmishers,  the  enemy 
fell  back  to  the  swamp.  On  the  evening  of  the  10th  we  re- 
turned via  South  Quay  and  IMurfrec's  Station,  to  Weldon. 

On  30  March  we  began  our  march  from  Weldon,  by  way 
of  ]\Tiirfreesboro  and  Winton,  the  latter  place  having  been 
totally  destroyed  by  the  Federals  in  one  of  their  raids,  to 
Harrellsville,  in  Bertie  county. 

At  this  place  and  Coleraine  and  on  the  Chowan  and  beauti- 
ful Albemarle  Sound  the  month  of  April,  1864,  was  spent  in 
the  fullest  enjoyment  of  all  the  deliglits  of  springtime,  beau' 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  135 

tiful  scenery  on  sound  and  river,  and  in  the  opening  life  of 
woods  and  flowers.  The  fish  and  other  delicacies  of  this  fa- 
vored region  touched  a  tender  spot  in  the  make-up  of  veterans, 
and  cause  us  much  congratulation  that  we  had  been  chosen  to 
cover  this  flank  of  the  attack  upon  and  capture  of  Plymouth ; 
and  the  period  spent  here  marked  a  green  spot  in  the  memo- 
ries of  officers  and  men  as  the  last  space  of  repose  and  com- 
fort, which  fell  to  our  lot  during  the  struggle. 

On  the  30th  we  marched  through  Windsor  and  the  lovely 
Indian  Woods  to  Taylor's  Ferry,  on  the  Roanoke,  which  we 
crossed  at  this  point ;  thence  through  Hamilton  to  Greenville, 
where  it  was  reported  that  on  the  fall  of  Plymouth  Little 
Washington  had  been  evacuated  by  the  Federals,  after  burn- 
ing a  considerable  portion  of  the  town.  Pushing  on  from 
Greenville,  we  crossed  Contentnea  creek,  the  ISTeuse  and  Trent 
rivers  to  Trenton,  thence  to  Kinston,  and  back  to  Weldon. 
Immediately  on  our  arrival  there,  we  were  sent  to  Jarratt's 
Station,  on  the  Petersburg  Railroad,  to  drive  back  the  raid, 
and  open  up  the  road  from  there  to  Stony  Creek.  A  raiding 
column  of  Federal  cavalry  had  the  day  before  succeeded  in 
cutting  the  road  and  tearing  up  the  track  after  a  hard  fight 
with  the  small  force  defending  it.  On  10  May  we  reached 
Petersburg,  and  were  at  once  hurried  to  Swift  Creek,  on  the 
Richmond  pike,  where  fighting  had  been  going  on  for  some 
time.  We  were  now  a  part  of  Beauregard's  army,  and  while 
he  remained  in  Virginia  continued  under  his  command. 

dkewky's  bluff. 

At  the  date  last  mentioned  (May,  1864),  Butler's  move- 
ment on  Drewry's  Bluff,  with  Richmond  as  the  objective 
point,  had  liegun  ;  and  from  this  date  until  Five  Forks  every 
day  was  a  day  of  battle  for  us.  Butler  had  seized  the  Rich- 
mond pike,  when  we  reached  Petersburg,  and  had  thrown  a 
considerable  force  across  to  the  railroad  and  Chesterfield 
Court  House.  But  the  advance  of  Hoke's  Division  with  the 
brigades  of  Ransom  and  Hagood,  under  the  command  of  that 
sterling  ISTorth  Carolinian,  Robert  F.  Hoke,  caused  its  with- 
drawal to  the  river  side  of  the  pike.  At  Half-Way  House 
Hoke  offered  battle,  but  the  enemy  slowly  retired  before  him, 

136  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'Go. 

and  the  way  was  opoiied  to  Drewry's  Bluff  for  the  reinforce- 
iiRMits  to  Beauregard.  As  soon  as  we  arrived  there  Ransom's 
Brigade  was  ordered  to  the  rig-lit  of  our  lines,  and  had  barely 
reached  there  and  occupied  the  works  when  the  first  assault  of 
the  battle  of  Drewry's  Bluff  was  ma<le  upon  us.  While  re- 
pelling this  attack  in  front,  but  fortunately  for  the  Forty- 
ninth  Regiment,  which  was  uu  the  extr(>nie  right,  not  till  the 
Federals  in  front  were  beginning  to  give  way,  a  Federal  line 
of  battle,  which  had  extended  around  our  right  under  cover 
of  a  piece  of  woods,  opened  a  galling  Wvo  in  our  rear,  and  ad- 
vanced to  the  charge  from  the  woods  on  our  right.  But  brave 
Durham  had  his  skirmishers  there;  and  though  they  were  few 
in  nuud)er,  he  was  ever  a  lion  in  the  ])atli  of  the  foe.  Foot  by 
foot  he  contested  the  ground  until  the  charge  in  our  front  was 
broken,  when  the  Forty-ninth  and  Twenty-lifth  Regiments 
leaped  over  the  works  and  poured  a  destructive  volley  into 
the  ranks  of  the  flanking  ]:)arty,  before  which  their  line  melted 
away.  Poor  Durham — truly  a  Chevalier  Bayard,  if  ever  na- 
ture placed  a  lieai't  in  man  which  was  absolutely  without  fear 
and  a  soul  without  reproach  or  blemish — received  here  a 
wound  in  his  arm,  necessitating  amputation,  from  which  he 
died.  Occupying  a  position  which  did  not  call  for  his  pres- 
ence in  lialtJe,  he  never  missed  a  tight;  was  always  in  the 
thickest  ai  tlie  forefront  of  the  tempest  of  death;  he  gloried 
in  tlie  fray,  nnd  earned  a  reputation  throughout  the  army  as 
the  lighting  (ijuartermaster,  which  added  lustre  to  the  valor 
of  our  troo]>s,  and  which  i^orth  Carolina  and  Xorth  Caroli- 
nians shouhl  not  suffer  to  perish.  He  was  but  a  boy,  an 
hundde,  (hn-out  Christian,  as  ])ure  and  chaste  as  a  woman,  and 
in  the  intensity  of  his  love  foi'  his  State  and  the  cause  she  had 
espcHised  he  counted  t]\c  sacrihce  of  death  as  his  simplest 
tribute  in  defense  of  her  honor. 

General  M.  W.  Ransom  was  here  wounded  in  the  arm,  and 
the  brigade  was  aftei-wavds  eomniandcd  during  tlie  summer 
and  till  hi<  return  at  differcMit  limes,  by  Cohmels  Clarke, 
Rutledge,  McAfee,  l''aison  and  Jones.  The  Fifty-sixth  Reg- 
iment being  hotly  assailed  in  falling  back,  lost  a  number  in 
kilh^d  and  wounded  ;  hut  repulsed  every  assault  with  telling 
effect.      The    lurtv-ninth    los>t   eleven   killed    and    a    consid- 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment,  137 

erable  number  of  wounded  in  this  engagement  of  the  even- 
ing of  13  May.  Brave  Captain  J.  P.  Ardrey,  of  Company 
F,  was  wounded,  and  left  in  the  enemy's  hands,  and  died 
before  he  could  be  removed.  Lieutenant  S.  H.  Elliott, 
of  the  same  company,  was  wounded,  and  Lieutenant  Line- 
barger,  of  Company  H,  was  mortally  wounded.  Dr. 
Goode,  Assistant  Surgeon,  and  three  litter-bearers  were  cap- 
tured, in  attending  upon  the  wounded.  The  14th  and 
15th  of  May  were  passed  in  repelling  repeated  charges  of 
the  enemy  upon  our  lines  and  efforts  to  advance  his  own 
from  our  outer  line  of  fortifications,  which  had  been  aban- 
doned to  him  on  the  evening  of  the  13th.  Severe  loss  was 
inflicted  upon  them  in  each  attempt. 

16  MAY,  1864. 

The  morning  of  16  May  was  obscured  by  a  dense  fog. 
Preparations  began  at  3  o'clock  on  the  Confederate  side  foi* 
an  attack,  and  by  daylight  Beauregard  moved  his  entire  army 
forward  for  an  attack,  en  echelon  by  brigades,  left  in  front, 
the  left  wing  being  under  the  immediate  command  of  General 
Koliert  Hansom.  Pansom  struck  the  enemy  on  their  extreme 
right,  carried  their  works,  and  turned  their  flank,  each  brig- 
ade in  turn  assisting  to  open  the  way  to  the  next  attacking 

Blow  after  blow  fell  thick  and  fast  on  Butler's  army.  All 
parts  of  his  line  were  heavily  pressed,  so  that  none  could  ren- 
der assistance  to  the  other,  and  before  noon  his  army,  largely 
exceeding  in  numbers  the  attacking  force,  thoroughly 
equipped  and  confident  of  victory,  was  completely  routed, 
and  Beauregard  luid  gained  one  of  the  best  fought  battles  of 
the  war.  In  boldness  of  conception  and  execution,  tactical 
skill,  thorough  grasp  of  all  the  conditions  of  the  situation,  and 
couunand  of  his  forces,  conducted  by  him  in  person  on  the 
field,  it  was  unsurpassed  by  any  fight  on  this  continent;  and 
but  for  Wliiting's  moving  from  his  position  on  the  turnpike 
in  Butler's  rear,  thus  allowing  him  to  escape  without  moles- 
tation to  Bermuda  Hundreds,  it  would  have  resulted  in  the 
capture  of  his  entire  army.  It  is  difficult  now  to  under- 
stand how  60  many  blunders  could  have  been  committed  at 

138  North  Carolina  Trooi-s,   1801-65. 

critical  moments  by  Confederate  generals  in  important  com- 
mands, save  that  the  hand  of  Fate  had  penned  the  decree  o£ 
our  defeat:  but  of  all  those,  which  contributed  to  our  down- 
fall, that  of  Major-General  Whiting,  on  the  afternoon  of  16 
May,  1864,  was  one  of  the  most  glaring  and  stupendous. 
Soon  after  the  battle  opened  the  Twenty-fourth  and  Forty- 
ninth  Ivegiments  were  ordered  to  the  right  flank  of  Bushrod 
Johnson's  Brigade,  on  the  right  of  the  turnpike  facing  to- 
wards Petersburg,  and  which  was  heavily  engaged  on  the 
immediate  right  of  our  brigade.  Moving  at  double-quick 
through  thick  woods  we  came  upon  the  enemy's  first  line  of 
works,  and  drove  them  from  it  Avith  great  loss.  Pursuing 
the  foe,  we  advanced  to  the  attack  of  the  second  line  under  a 
very  heavy  fire  in  our  front,  and  a  severe  enfilade  from  our 
right.  Colonel  W.  J.  Clarke,  of  the  Twenty-fourth  com- 
manded the  brigade.  Under  his  orders,  and  following  that 
regiment,  we  turned  to  the  right,  and  drove  the  enemy  from 
the  position,  which  enabled  the  enfilade  fire  to  harass  us, 
capturing  his  colors,  inflicting  heavy  loss  upon  him.  Moving 
directly  forward,  we  again  attacked  the  second  line  of  their 
works,  and  had  nearly  reached  them,  when  we  were  ordered 
to  fall  back  and  reform  our  lines.  This  was  done  under  shel- 
ter of  a  skirt  of  woods ;  and  in  a  short  time  Major  James  T. 
Davis,  Colonel  Mc.\fee  having  been  wounded,  and  Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Flemming  having  been  left  in  command  of 
the  brigade  skirmish  line  when  we  were  moved  to  the  right, 
gave  the  command  to  advance  with  Captain  Chambers'  com- 
pany deployed  as  skirmishers  at  an  oblique  angle  to  our  right. 
In  this  attack,  aided  by  the  flanking  movement  from  our  left^ 
the  works  in  our  front  were  readily  taken.  In  these  two 
charges  of  this  day  the  Forty-ninth  lost  heavily  in  officers  and 
men.  When  the  works  had  been  taken  the  dead  body  of  Cap- 
tain Ardrey  was  recovered.  Besides  the  wounding  of  the 
Colonel,  Lieutenants  W.  P.  Barnett,  of  Company  F,  and  H. 
C.  Conley,  of  Company  A,  were  killed.  Captain  G.  W.  Lytle, 
of  Company  A,  was  mortally  woimded.  and  Lieutenants  Dan- 
iel Lattimore,  of  Company  B,  and  B.  F.  Dixon,  of  Company 
G,  were  severely  wounded. 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  139 


The  next  day  we  continued  the  pursuit  of  Butler's  army, 
and  assisted  in  his  "bottling  up"  at  Bermuda  Hundreds. 
Several  brisk  skirmishes  and  picket  fights  were  had  there 
until  the  lines  were  established,  but  none  were  of  serious 
importance.  In  a  picket  charge  on  the  night  of  1  June,  Cap- 
tain George  L.  Phifer,  of  Company  K,  was  wounded.  Com- 
panies C,  F  and  K  of  the  Forty-ninth  were  on  the  picket,  and 
sustained  a  loss  of  three  killed  and  seventeen  wounded.  In 
June,  1864,  Dr.  Buffin  resigned,  and  Dr.  Dandridge  was 
appointed  Surgeon,  in  which  position  he  continued  to  the 
close  of  the  war. 

On  4  June  we  crossed  the  James  at  Drewry's  Bluff,  and 
confronted  the  enemy  on  the  Chickahominy,  at  the  York 
Biver  Railroad  bridge,  and  strengthened  the  fortifications 
there.  On  the  10th  we  were  relieved  by  Kirkland's  North 
Carolina  Brigade,  and  returned,  by  a  forced  march,  to  the 
south  side,  and  thence  to  Petersburg,  to  meet  Grant's  advance 
across  the  James.  From  this  time  on  Ransom's  Brigade  be- 
came a  part  of  Bushrod  Johnson's  Division.  After  march- 
ing all  night  of  the  15th  we  reached  Petersburg  about  8 
o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  16th,  and  were  hurried  to  our 
fortifications  on  Avery's  farm.  At  a  run  we  succeeded  in 
getting  to  the  works  before  the  enemy  reached  them.  Through 
a  storm  of  sliot  and  shell  we  gained  them,  just  in  time  to 
meet  their  charge,  and  drive  them  back.  In  the  afternoon 
we  were  hurried  to  Swift  Creek,  where  the  Fifty-sixth 
North  Carolina,  under  Major  John  W.  Graham,  and  Grade's 
Brigade,  drove  back  the  Federal  cavalry  which  had  attempted 
to  cut  our  communications  with  Richmond,  and  enter  Peters- 
burg from  that  direction.  We  were  then  marched  along  the 
Richmond  pike  until  about  midnight,  when  we  opened  com- 
munication with  the  head  of  Longstreet's  Corps.  By  the 
first  light  next  morning  we  were  hurried  by  train  back  to 
Petersburg,  where  early  in  the  morning  the  enemy  had  cap- 
tured a  considerable  part  of  Bushrod  Johnson's  old  brigade 
and  several  pieces  of  artillery.  Hastily  we  threw  up  a  line 
of  rifle  pits;  and  now  commenced  Beauregard's  magnificent 
grapple  with  Grant's  army  until  Longstreet's  command  could 

140  North  Carolina  Trooi's,  1861-65. 

reach  us.  With  scarcely  more  than  5,000  men  and  eighteen 
pieces  of  field  artillery  Beauregard  kept  in  check  Grant's 
army,  coming  up  from  City  Point,  all  the  day  and  night  of 
17  June,  until  sunrise  of  the  18th,  when  Longstreet  came 
over  the  hill  at  Blandford  cemetery  on  our  right.  ^Vhen 
flanked  on  our  right,  we  would  fall  back  to  meet  the  flank  at- 
tack, re])ulse  it,  and  then,  being  massed,  Beauregard  would 
hurl  his  shattered  but  compact  battalions  against  the  Federal 
lines,  and  force  them  back,  to  reform  and  again  press  upon 
us.  Through  the  17th  and  the  succeeding  night  every  foot 
of  ground  from  .Vvery's  farm  to  Blandford  cemetery  was 
fought  over  and  over  again. 

Kansom's  Brigade  played  a  conspicuous  part  in  these  move- 
ments. First  Lieutenant  Edward  Phifer,  of  Company  K, 
received  his  death  wound  through  the  lungs  in  this  battle.  A 
bright,  noble  boy  and  faithful,  light-hearted  soldier.  At 
times  during  this  engagement  our  troops  would  be  lying  on 
one  side  of  the  works  and  tliose  of  the  enemy  on  the  other; 
and  it  is  said  that  the  flag  of  the  Thirty-fifth  Regiment  was 
lost  and  regained  a  half  dozen  times,  until  the  Michigan  Reg- 
iment with  which  it  was  engaged  in  a  hand  to  hand  encounter, 
surrendered  to  it.  It  was  desperate  fighting,  and  the  most 
prolonged  struggle  of  the  kind  during  the  war.  With  anx- 
ious hearts  we  saw  ihe  night  wear  on,  not  knowing  what  fate 
the  morning  would  bring  us,  if  we  sundved  tO'  see  it;  and  it 
was  with  a  glad  shout  tliat,  as  the  sun  rose,  and  the  Federals 
were  massing  on  our  right  flank  to  crush  us,  we  welcomed 
the  head  of  Longstrcet's  cfdumu  coming  at  a  trot  to  our  right 
wing.  The  contem]ilated  charge  upon  us  was  not  made; 
rifle  pits  were  hastily  dug  and  strengthened  into  formidable 
entrenchuHMits  on  the  ucw  line;  and  thus  began  the  siege  of 

From  this  (bite  until  M)  March,  1S()5,  just  nine  months, 
in  tlu'  lines  east  of  Petersluirg,  occu])ying  at  ditfereut  times 
positions  from  the  Ap])omattox  river  to  the  JerusahMu  plank 
road,  often  not  a  hundred  yards  from  the  works  of  the  enemy, 
constantly  ex])osed  to  danger  au<l  death  from  mortar  and  can- 
non shells  and  balls,  grape,  shrajnu'l  and  the  dea<llier  niinie 
balls,  we  engaged  in  daily  battle.      Exposed  to  sun  and  stonn, 

FoRTY-NiMTH  Regiment.  141 

heat  and  eold,  with  scant  food  and  insufficient  supplies,  the 
ranks  thinning  honrly  from  deaths,  wounds  and  sickness,  de- 
pressed by  the  gathering  gloom  of  our  falling  fortunes, 
through  the  dark,  bitter  and  foreboding  winter  of  1864-'65. 
the  men  of  the  Forty-ninth  were  faithful  unto  the  end; 
never  faltering  in  the  performance  of  any  duty,  and  never 
failing  to  meet  and  resist  the  foe. 

On  8  June,  1864,  Lieutenant  C.  C  Krider,  of  C^ompany 
C,  was  wounded  in  the  right  shoulder  by  a  piece  of  shell. 
On  23  July  (.'aptain  John  0.  Grier,  of  Company  F,  was 
wounded  in  the  arm  and  thigh  by  pieces  of  a  mortal  shell. 


On  3t)  July  occurred  the  springing  of  Grant's  mine  under 
Pegram's  Battery,  formerly  Branch's,  on  a  hill  about  four 
hundred  yards  to  the  right  of  our  regiment,  knd  on  the  left 
of  Elliott's  South  Carolina  Brigade.  The  Twenty-fifth 
Xorth  Carolina  was  between  us  and  the  mine.  The  battery, 
most  of  its  men  and  officers,  and  a  considerable  part  of  the 
Twenty-sixth  South  Carolina  Regiment  were  blown  up,  the 
mine  containing,  it  was  said,  thirty  tons  of  blasting  powder. 
A  large  excavation  was  made;  and  in  the  smoke  and  confu- 
sion, amid  the  flying  debris  and  mangled  men,  the  enemy 
charged  in  great  force,  efi'ecting  a  lodgment  in  our  lines,  and 
a  large  number  of  the  flags  of  Burnside's  Corps  floated  on  our 
works.  Reinforcenients  poured  to  their  support  and  a  vigor- 
ous assault  was  made  on  our  line  on  both  sides  of  the  crater. 
In  the  van  were  negro  soldiers,  crying,  '"^o  quarter  to  the 
rebels."  JMost  fortunately  foT  our  army,  we  had  completed 
but  a  day  or  two  before  a  cavalier  line  in  the  rear  of  the 
salient,  where  the  explosion  occurred ;  the  two  lines,  salient 
and  cavalier,  forming  a  diamond  shaped  fortification.  Into 
this  cavalier  line,  from  the  left  of  the  salient,  rushed  by  the 
right  flank  the  Twenty-fifth  and  Forty-ninth  Regiments  of 
Ransom,  and,  from  the  other  side,  the  remnant  of  the  Twenty- 
sixth  South  Carolina,  which  had  been  blown  up,  and  a  part 
of  another  regiment  of  Elliott's  Brigade.  These  rapidly 
formed  for  a  cliarge  to  retake  our  works,  but  the  enemy 
massed  his  troops  so  rapidly  into  the  broken  salient  that  it 

142  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

was  deemed  useless  to  make  the  attempt,  and  best  to  hold  on  to 
the  cavalier  line.  Now  began  some  of  the  most  desperate 
fighting-  of  the  war.  Ransom's  Brigade  was  that  day  com- 
manded by  Colonel  McAfee,  of  the  Forty-ninth. 

Simultaneously  with  the  rush  into  the  broken  salient,  the 
enemy  in  three  lines  of  battle  charged  our  works  for  a  half 
mile  on  each  side,  only  to  be  repulsed  time  and  again  with 
fearful  slaughter.  Meanwhile,  in  the  cavalier  line,  our 
troops  were  clinging  to  the  works  with  the  tenacity  of  despair, 
and  fighting  with  the  fury  of  madmen.  The  compact, 
crowded  mass  of  Federals  rendered  every  shot  effective.  Our 
men  aimed  steadily  and  true;  and  as  each  rifle  became  too 
hot  to  be  used  another  gun  was  at  work  by  one  who  took  the 
place  of  the  first,  or  supplied  him  with  rifles  which  could  be 
handled.  From  a  redoubt  to  our  left  and  rear  Wright's  Bat- 
tery opened  upon  the  crowded,  panic-stricken  foe,  as  they 
huddled  together,  an  enfilading,  plunging  fire  with  five  field 
pieces,  and  two  mortars,  every  shot  .and  shell  tearing  its  way 
through  living  flesh.  Between  our  men  and  small  bodies  of 
the  enemy,  who  formed  and  tried  to  force  their  way  down  our 
works,  several  hand  to  hand  conflicts,  with  bayonets  locked 
and  rifles  clubbed,  occurred,  which  availed  nothing  to  the 
cornered  enemy.  When  their  supports  on  either  side  were 
driven  back  it  was  seen  that  those  who  had  filled  the  salient 
wei"e  caught  in  a  trap.  Wlien  the  fighting  was  hottest,  but 
our  supreme  danger  had  been  averted,  in  a  large  measure, 
by  his  promptness  in  the  arrangement  and  disposition  of  his 
own  regiment  and  those  men  of  the  brave  South  Carolinians 
who  had  formed  with  us  (when  driven  from  the  salient),  he, 
who  had  so  often  led  us  with  such  calm,  intrepid  courage, 
Lieutenant-Colonel  John  A.  Flemming,  was  shot  through  the 
head  and  instantly  killed.  Never  was  a  braver  knight  than 
he;  our  State  had  no  more  devoted  son  than  Flemming;  the 
South  no  truer  soldier.  Somewhat  reserved  in  bearing, 
severe  to  those  who  failed  in  duty,  and  disdaining  all  pre- 
tense and  insincerity,  he  did  not  desire  nor  practice  the  arts 
which  seek  po])ularity.  But  he  was  so  brave,  so  ready,  so 
steadfast  and  constant  in  all  trying  conjunctures,  as  in  his 
friendships,   that  his  ofiicers  and  men  loved   and   respected 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  143 

hiin  and  followed  liim  with  implicit  zeal  and  faitli.  He  had 
said  to  the  writer  more  than  once  that  he  was  convinced  that 
he  would  be  killed,  and  the  last  time  he  repeated  it,  soon  after 
some  disaster  to  our  arms,  remarked  that  he  would  have  few 
regTets  in  laying  down  his  life,  if  by  so  doing,  the  freedom  of 
the  South  could  be  secured.  From  early  morning  till  nearly 
3  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of  that  fateful  July  day,  the 
Twenty-fifth  and  T'oi-ty-ninth  Xorth  (Jarolina  and  Twenty- 
sixth  South  (Carolina  held  our  line  against  tremendous  odds, 
and  until  the  force  of  the  assault  was  spent  and  broken,  when 
Mahone's  Virginia,  Wright's  Georgia  and  Sander's  Alabama 
Brigades  charged  with  the  Twenty-fifth  J^orth  Carolina  and 
retook  the  entire  salient,  inflicting  frightful  slaughter  upon 
the  enemy.  Onr  lines  were  re-established,  and  the  Federals 
were  driven  back  at  all  points,  losing,  it  was  stated,  more  than 
9,000  men,  killed  and  wounded,  besides  2,000  prisoners, 
colors  and  small  arms  captured  in  the  undertaking.  And 
when  the  victory  was  won,  and  the  Forty-ninth  was  returning 
to  its  fonner  position,  Captain  Edwin  Victor  Harris,  of 
Company  E,  was  shot  through  the  neck,  severing  the  main 
artery ;  and  with  his  life-blood  gushing  from  his  wound  and 
his  mouth,  realizing  his  mortal  calamity  but  unable  to  speak, 
he  extended  his  hand  in  farewell  to  Major  Davis,  and  then  to 
his  devoted  Lieutenant,  John  T.  Crawford,  and  immediately 
the  spirit  of  Edwin  Harris,  so  joyous,  happy  and  bright  in 
this  life,  winged  its  flight  to  God. 

N^othing  occurred  beyond  the  daily  fighting,  shelling  and 
sharpshooting,  on  the  lines  occupied  by  our  brigade,  until  21 
August,  when  we  were  hastily  marched  to  our  right,  and  un- 
der A.  P.  Hill  attacked  the  enemy  on  the  Weldon  Railroad, 
and  after  carrying  two  of  his  lines  of  fortifications,  dislodged 
him  from  his  position.  Our  loss  was  severe,  the  Forty-ninth 
suffering  considerably.  We  then  returned  to  our  old  place 
in  the  trenches.  On  14  December  Captain  C.  H.  Dixon,  of 
Company  G,  was  killed,  and  Major  C.  Q.  Petty,  who  had 
been  appointed  Major  in  the  place  of  James  T.  Davis,  who 
had  succeeded  Lieutenant-Colonel  Flemming,  and  eight  men, 
were  wounded  during  a  fierce  mortar  shelling  to  which  we 
were  subjected. 

144  North  Carolina  Troops,   ]861-'()5. 


We  reiiiaiiu'cl  in  tlic  trenches  until  KI  Ararcli,  1805,  when 
we  were  rclievecl  l)_v  Gonhin's  troops,  and  nuived  to  the  ex- 
treme right  of  our  lines,  occn])ving  ^lahone's  old  winter  (juar- 
ters,  and  there  we  stayed  until  the  eveninii'  of  the  2r)th,  when 
we  were  marched  to  Petersluirg",  and  hack  to  our  old  position 
on  the  lines.  We  reached  there  about  midnight,  and  soon  the 
arrangements  were  made  for  the  attack  on  Fort  Steadnum,  or 
Hare's  Hill,  under  General  John  E.  Gordon.  Just  at  day- 
light the  next  moniing  we  advanced  to  the  assault,  Ransom's 
Brigade  l^eing  the  second  one  from  the  Appomattox,  and 
directly  in  front  of  Hare's  Hill.  At  the  signal  the  sharp- 
shooters of  the  Forty-ninth,  under  First  Lieutenant  Thomas 
Ti.  Koulhac,  following  the  storming  party  led  hy  Lieutenant 
W.  W.  Flemming  of  the  Sixth  North  Carolina,  in  advance, 
moved  across  our  works,  through  the  obstructions  in  our 
front,  and  the  whole  brigade,  wdth  a  rush,  climbed  the 
clievaux  dc  frise  of  the  enemy,  and  clambering  through  and 
over  the  deep  ditches  in  their  front,  went  over  tlie  enemy's 
works  and  captured  them  before  they  aroused  from  their 
slumbers.  The  surprise  was  complete.  Sweeping  dowm 
their  lines,  the  Forty-ninth  opened  the  way  for  other  troops. 
Ransom's  Brigade  captured  Fort  Steadman,  the  Forty-ninth 
rushing  over  it  without  a  halt,  and  all  the  works  in  our  front; 
but  those  between  us  and  the  river  w^ere  not  taken,  although 
we  enfiladed  that  part  of  the  line,  and  wuth  our  fire  on  their 
flank,  it  could  have  been  easily  done.  Their  fort  near  the 
river  w^as  thus  enabled  to  annoy  us  gTeatly.  Here  Colonel 
Mci\.fee  was  again  slightly  Avounded,  and  Lieutenant-Colonel 
James  Taylor  Davis  w^as  killed.  He  was  a  splendid  soldier 
and  a  true,  warm-hearted  gentleman,  of  decided  talents  and 
great  promise  in  his  profession — the  law.  His  life  would 
have  been  an  honorable  and  useful  one  if  he  had  been  spared. 
Major  Petty  having  remained  in  camp  sick,  Captain  Cham- 
bers, of  Company  C,  w^as  left  in  command.  We  held  our 
position  until  all  the  troops  on  our  right  had  fallen  back,  and 
most  of  those  on  our  left.  When  the  order  to  fall  back  finally 
reached  us,  the  retreat  was  made  under  the  most  trying  cir- 

Forty-Ninth  RegIxMENt.  145 

cumstances.  We  were  exposed  to  a  raking  fire  from  tiiree 
directions,  many  were  falling  at  every  step,  but  at  last  we  re- 
turned to  our  lines  with  but  a  remnant  of  the  command, 
having  sustained  the  greatest  loss  in  killed,  wounded  and 
prisoners  the  Forty-ninth  met  with  during  the  war.  Captain 
Torrance,  of  Company  II,  was  wounded,  Lieutenant  Krider, 
of  Company  C,  was  wounded  and  captured,  and  Lieutenant 
Witherington,  of  Company  I,  was  wounded.  The  brigade 
lost  700  men  in  all,  of  which  the  proportion  of  the  Forty- 
ninth  was  the  greatest. 


After  the  failure  of  the  attack  on  Grant's  lines,  evidently 
a  forlorn  hope  on  General  Lee's  part,  we  returned  to  our 
quarters  on  the  right.  On  30  March  we  participated  in  the 
battle  of  Burgess'  Mill  and  drove  the  enemy  back  into  his 
entrenchments  after  he  had  assaulted  ours.  On  the  30th  we 
were,  with  Wallace's  South  Carolina  Brigade,  attached  to 
Pickett's  Division,  and  the  next  morning  were  marched 
down  the  White  Oak  i^oad  to  Five  Forks,  the  Federal  cavalry 
making  frequent  reconnoissances  to  ascertain  our  movements. 
From  Five  Forks  we  marched  on  to  Dinwiddle  Court  House 
and  engaged  in  battle  that  afternoon  with  Sheridan's  cavalry, 
driving  them  back.  We  slept  on  the  field.  During  the  night 
the  force  in  our  front  was  largely  reinforced,  and  before  day 
on  1  April,  we  were  aroused  and  slowly  fell  back  to  Five 
Forks.  By  noon  we  had  reached  that  place  and  formed  line 
of  battle,  Bansom's  Brigade  on  the  left,  the  Twenty-fourth 
holding  the  extreme  left,  next  the  Fifty-sixth,  then  Twenty- 
fifth,  Forty-ninth  and  Thirty-fifth.  We  threw  up  rifle  pits 
and  after  the  whole  regiment  had  been  deployed  as  skirmish- 
ers by  Captain  Chambers  to  support  the  Twenty-fourth,  the 
line  was  formed  as  above  mentioned,  with  Wallace's  Brigade 
on  our  right.  The  skirmishers  and  sharpshooters  of  the 
brigade  were  placed  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Boul- 
hac  and  connected  with  our  cavalry  on  the  left.  These  dispo- 
sitions had  hardly  been  completed  when  clouds  of  Federal 
skirmishers  were  advanced  against  our  skirmish  line,  but 

146  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

these  were  held  at  hay.  Twice  they  charged  with  lines  of 
l^attle,  and  were  driven  hack  hy  our  skirmishers.  Heavy 
■columns  of  infantry — Warren's  whole  Corps — were  ohserved 
massing  on  our  left,  and  moving  around  our  flanl^;.  Frequent 
reports  were  made  of  this  by  Lieutenant  Roulhac,  but  appar- 
«ently  no  steps  were  taken  to  oppose  or  prevent  the  movement. 
After  several  messages  had  been  sent,  Captain  Sterling  H. 
Gee,  Adjutant-General  on  Ransom's  staff,  visited  the  line  and 
directed  Lieutenant  Roulhac  tO'  turn  over  the  skirmish  line 
to  Lieutenant  Bovvers,  and  to  report  in  person  to  General  Ran- 
som, who  had  already  communicated  the  reports  to  General 
Pickett.  Proceeding  to  do  this,  he  reached  General  Ran- 
som and  was  ordered  by  him  to  find  General  Pickett  and 
inform  him  of  the  condition  of  affairs.  But  by  this  time 
Warren's  infantry  had  struck  the  left  of  our  line,  and  over- 
lapped it.  Colonel  Clarke  quickly  threw  back  his  regi- 
ment to  meet  this  attack,  and  in  a  short  time  was  joined 
by  the  Twenty-fifth  in  a  similar  movement ;  but  this  small 
force  could  do  nothing  to  check  such  overwhelming' 
numbers.  Doubled  up  and  overpowered,  they  were  nearly 
all  shot  down  or  captured.  The  remainder  of  our  line 
was  hotly  engaged  with  two  lines  of  battle  in  their  front, 
which  had  driven  in  our  pickets,  and  advanced  to  the 
attack  of  our  main  line.  Running  over  the  Twenty-fourth 
and  Twenty-fifth,  and  driving  the  Fifty-sixth  from  their 
flank  and  rear,  the  enemy  was  upon  us,  both  flank  and  rear, 
protected  l)y  the  woods  on  our  left,  where  Clarke  had  been, 
•  while  he  still  fought  the  line  in  our  front.  Colonel  McAfee 
was  again  slightly  wounded,  and  directed  Lieutenant  Roul- 
hac, whom  he  had  requested  to  act  as  Adjutant  to  turn  over 
the  command  to  Captain  Chambers.  As  quick  as  he  could 
be  reached,  the  regiment  was  moved  by  Captain  Chambers  out 
of  the  works,  at  right  angles  to  its  former  front.  In  this 
Colonel  Benbow,  commanding  Wallace's  South  Carolina  Bri- 
gade, lent  the  assistance  of  one  regiment,  all  he  could  spare 
fiom  the  right  of  his  connuand,  our  Thirty-fifth  North  Caro- 
lina and  the  remainder  of  his  brigade  remaining  to  hold  our 
front  line.  The  enemy  was  upon  us  in  a  few  moments  and 
were  discovered  in  our  rear,  as  we  then  faced,  moving  in  line 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  147 

of  battle.  We  Avere  penned  in  like  rats  in  a  hole,  but  the  old 
j-egiuient  which  Ramseur  formed,  and  McAfee,  Flemming, 
Davis  and  Chambers  had  led,  still  fought  with  desperation, 
and  though  its  ranks  were  thinning  fast,  the  sui'vivors  held 
their  ground  and  did  not  yield.  A  slight  attempt  was  now 
made  to  reinforce  us  by  another  regiment  from  Wallace's  Bri- 
gade and  one  of  Pickett's  regiments  w^hich  tried  to  reach  us 
on  our  left  and  extend  our  new  line,  but  the  enemy  was  pour- 
ing down  upon  us,  and  the  succor  could  never  reach  us.  At 
this  time  Captain  Chambers  was  severely  wounded  in  the 
head  by  a  minie  ball,  and  instructing  Adjutant  Roulhac 
to  hold  the  position,  was  carried  from  the  field,  barely  in 
time  to  pass  through  the  only  gap  which  the  enemy 
had  not  filled.  In  but  a  few  moments  more  the  left  flank  of 
the  regiment  was  driven  back  on  the  right  to  our  works,  while 
the  enemy's  line  in  our  former  front  came  over  the  works, 
which  had  been  stubbornly  held  by  Captain  J.  C.  Grier,  of 
Company  F,  up  to  this  time.  We  were  overpowered  and  the 
few  that  were  left  were  made  prisoners,  some  being  knocked 
down  with  the  butts  of  rifles,  and  Captain  Grier  throwing 
away  his  empty  pistol,  as  several  bayonets  were  presented  at 
his  breast,  with  the  demand  for  his  surrender.  And  this 
was  the  end.  Three  times  after  we  were  surrounded  the 
Forty-ninth  advanced  to  the  charge  and  drove  back  the  con- 
stricting foe ;  but  when  we  charged  in  one  direction,  those  on 
the  other  side  of  us  closed  in  upon  us,  and  our  efforts  availed 
nothing.  Many  were  killed,  maimed  and  stricken  in  that  last 
useless  and  criminally  mismanaged  encounter.  The  few 
who  escaped  endured  the  manifold  sufferings  and  daily  con- 
flicts of  the  historic  retreat  to  Appomattox,  where  with  num" 
bers  still  further  reduced,  the  reminant  of  the  glorious  regi- 
ment was  surrendered,  commanded  by  Major  C.  Q.  Petty. 

The  details  and  most  of  the  data  for  this  monograph  of  the 
old  command  have  been  obtained  from  Captain  Henry  A. 
Chambers,  who  kindly  furnished  me  the  diary  he  faithfully 
and  accurately  kept  throughout  that  stormy  period.  Acci- 
dentally, as  I  find  in  reading  it  over,  I  have  omitted  the  fact 
of  the  wounding  of  Captain  James  T.  Adams,  of  Company  K, 
in  the  trenches  during  the  month  of  July,  1864,  by  which  he 

148  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

was  deprived  of  his  leg.  Otliers  may  have  escaped  my  recol-' 
lection.  I  have  intended  them  no  slight.  I  would  that  I 
oould  do  justice,  full  but  simple  justice,  not  alone  to 
its  officers,  but  its  brave,  patriotic,  faithful  rank  and  file,  so 
many  of  whom  gave  up  their  lives  or  carried  through 
life  mutilated  limbs  and  bodies.  In  the  midst  of  exact- 
ing duties,  I  could  not  refuse  to  contribute  the  best  I  could 
to  perpetuate  some  memorial  of  the  Forty-ninth  Regiment. 
In  the  thirty-odd  years  since  the  surrender  many,  perhaps 
most,  of  those  who  survived  the  casualties  of  war,  have  faced 
the  gi'im  Sergeant  and  answered  the  roll  call  beyond.  With  all 
such,  may  their  portion  be  God's  blessing  of  everlasting  peace. 
With  those  who  yet  remain,  may  He  bless  them  with  pros- 
perity, usefulness  and  honorable  repose  when  age  has  sapped 
their  energies  and  wasting  strength  has  unfitted  them  for  fur- 
ther toil.  J\iy  heart  fills  with  sadness  and  distress  when  I 
think  of  those  who  poured  out  their  blood  as  a  sacrifice  which 
perchance,  the  world  will  say  was  useless.  But,  nay,  the 
lesson  of  courage,  fidelity  and  heroism  they  left  cannot  be 
useless  to  mankind ;  the  scroll  of  honor  upon  which  their 
names  are  written  high  cannot,  and  shall  not,  be  effaced  or 
tarnished  by  their  descendants  and  their  kindred.  And  what 
a  noble  band  they  were — Ramseur,  McAfee,  Flemming,  Dur- 
ham, Harris,  Davis,  Chambers,  the  Phifers,  Adams,  Lytle, 
Krider,  Grier,  Horan,  Thomas,  Alex.  Barrett,  Summers, 
Crawford,  Ardrey,  Barnett,  Dixon,  B.  F.  Dixon,  Torrance, 
Linebarger,  Rankin,  Connor  and  Shen-ill.  As  was  said  of  a 
group  of  noble  young  Englishmen,  it  may  be  truly  said  of 
them : 

"Blending  their  souls'  suhlimest  needs 
With  tasks  of  every  day; 
They  went  about  their  greatest  deeds 
Like  noble  boys  at  play." 

How  their  bright  young  faces  come  back  over  the  vista  of 
all  those  long  years !  How  splendid  and  great  they  were  in 
their  modest,  patient,  earnest  love  of  country !  How  strong 
they  were  in  their  young  manhood,  and  pure  they  were  in 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  149 

their  faith,  and  constant  they  were  to  their  principles !  How 
they  bore  suffering  and  hardship ;  and  how  their  lives  were 
ready  at  the  call  of  duty !  What  magnificent  courage ;  what 
unsullied  patriotism !  Suffering  they  bore,  duty  they  per- 
formed, and  death  they  faced  and  met;  all  this  for  the  defense 
of  the  dear  old  home  land ;  all  this  for  the  glory  and  honor  of 
North  Carolina.  As  they  were  faithful  unto  thee,  guard 
thou  their  names  and  fame,  grand  old  mother  of  us  all.  If 
thy  sons  in  the  coming  time  shall  learn  the  lesson  of  heroism 
their  lives  inspired  and  their  deeds  declared,  then  not  one 
drop  of  blood  was  shed  in  vain.  If  they  emulate  them,  and 
lift  yet  higher  the  banner  of  the  old  land's  honor,  credit  and 
worth,  then  the  agony  of  defeat  is  healed  to  those  who  sur- 

To  the  memory  of  those  who  fell,  and  those,  who  have  since 
passed  away,  this  imperfect  tribute  is  offered.  To  the  veter- 
ans of  the  Forty-ninth,  who  are  still  among  the  living,  an  old 
comrade  salutes  you. 

Thomas  R.  Roulhac. 
Sheffield,  Ala., 

9  April,  1901. 





1.  George  L.  Phifer,  Captain.  Co.  K.  3.    Thos.  R.  Roulhac,  1st  Lieut..  Co  D. 

2.  B.  F.  Dixon,  Captain,  Co.  G.  4.    Kdwani  I'hifer.  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  K. 

5.     James  Greenlee  Fleinniintr.  lJ<t  Lieut.,  Co.  C. 
(Killed  at  Sliarpsbur^,'  ) 


By  B.  F.  DIXON,  Captain  Company  G. 

The  Forty-ninth  Regiment  was  made  up  of  as  brave  and 
gallant  men  as  ever  shouldered  muskets  in  defense  of  the 
South.  They  were  men  who  did  not  rush  into  the  army  at 
the  first  call  for  volunteers,  but  who  considered  well  what 
they  were  doing,  and  then  calmly  and  deliberately  put  down 
their  names  as  volunteers  to  defend  their  country,  A  large 
majority  of  them  were  heads  of  families  that  were  dependent 
upon  them  for  the  bread  necessary  to  sustain  the  lives  of  wife 
and  children.  Yet  those  men  kissing  their  wives  and  babies 
good-bye  in  March  1862,  with  unwavering  step  marched  to 
the  front  to  expose  their  lives  to  the  bullets  of  a  foe  of  twice 
their  number.  Many  a  man  volunteered  in  the  very  out- 
break of  the  war  because  he  had  been  told  that  the  war  would 
not  last  sixty  days.  Indeed  some  of  those  war  prophets  of- 
fered to  drink  all  the  blood  that  would  be  shed,  so  he  hurried 
away  from  home  for  fear  that  he  would  not  get  even  a  taste 
of  the  much-coveted  battle.  All  this  had  passed  away  when 
the  Forty-ninth  Regiment  was  organized,  and  the  men  knew 
that  a  desperate  struggle  was  before  them.  The  Northern 
army  had  been  greatly  strengthened  by  recruits  and  disci- 
pline, and  the  great  Southern  anny  had  already  begun  to 
realize  the  fact  that  one  of  the  greatest  wars  ever  waged  in 
any  country  was  then  raging.  Knowing  this  these  men  loft 
their  homes  and  turned  their  faces  toward  Virginia,  the  great 
battle  field  of  the  South.  The  Forty-ninth  Regiment  was 
made  up  largely  from  the  country,  very  few  town  men  were 
in  it,  and  strange  as  it  may  seem,  the  town  and  city  men  were 
able  to  endure  loss  of  sleep  and  irregular  hours  better  than 
the  men  from  the  farms.  I  suppose  the  reason  for  this  was 
the  fact  that  the  countr^Tiian  kept  regular  hoiirs  at  home. 
He  went  to  sleep  at  8  o'clock  at  night,  and  got  up  before  the 
sun.     He  had  been  accustomed  all  his  life  to  three  square 

152  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-05. 

meals  a  day  at  regular  intem-als,  and  to  depart  from  that  cus- 
tom was  a  hardship  difficult  to  meet.  While  the  townman 
was  in  tlio  habit  of  keeping  late  hours,  and  eating  at  uncer- 
tain periods,  hence  the  march  and  the  general  irregularity  of 
living  did  not  affect  him  as  it  did  his  country  cousin.  But 
with  a  few  weeks  of  drill  and  discipline  the  splendid  health 
and  the  absence  of  dissipation,  which  had  marked  the  life 
of  the  country  boy,  began  to  assert  themselves,  and  soon  he 
became  the  tough  and  wiry  soldier  that  never  fell  out  on  a 
march,  and  was  in  line  when  the  command  came  to  charge. 
The  regiment  was  composed  of  the  following  companies: 

Company  A — Burke  and  McDov'cU — Captain  Flemming. 
He  aftenvards  became  Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the  regiment, 
and  was  one  of  the  liravest  men  in  Lee's  army.  He  fell 
dead,  shot  through  tlie  heart  at  the  Crater  in  front  of  Peters- 
burg. George  \V.  Lytle  and  J.  M.  Iliggins  were  successive- 
ly Captains. 

Co:\rPANY  B — Cleveland  Coiintij — Captain  Corbett.  This 
company  was  transferred  to  the  Forty-ninth  Begiment  from 
the  Fifteenth  Regiment.  Captain  Corbett  was  fearfully 
hurt  in  a  railroad  wreck  near  Cherryville,  ]^.  C,  wdiile  on 
his  way  home  on  a  furlough  in  1864,  and  after  realizing  the 
fact  that  he  would  not  again  be  able  for  duty,  resigned  and 
Lieutenant  Jud.  Magniess  was  promoted  to  the  Captaincy 
of  the  company. 

Company  C — Roiran  Coimfy — Captain  Pinkney  B. 
Chambers.  On  his  promotion  to  Major  he  was  succeeded  as 
Captain  by  Henry  A.  Chambers. 

Company  D — Moore  County — Cajitain  William  M. 
Black.  Ujion  his  resignation  David  S.  Barr(>tt  liocame  Cap- 

Company  E — Iredell  County — Ca])tain   Alex.  1).  Moore. 

Company  F — Mecldenhurg  County — Captain  Davis. 
Captain  Davis  was  promoted  to  Major  and  Lieutenant  James 
P.  Ardrey  was  promoted  to  Captain,  ^lajor  Davis  was  killed 
in  front  of  Petersburg  25  IMarch,  1865,  just  a  few  days  be- 
fore the  surrender.  He  was  a  brave  and  true  soldier.  Cap- 
tain Ardrey  w^as  killed  at  Drewry's  Bluff.     I  could  not  keep 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  153 

back  the  tears  when  they  told  me  that  he  was  killed.  I  loved 
him  like  a  brother.  He  was  succeeded  as  Captain  by  Lieu- 
tenant John  C.  Grier. 

Company  G — Cleveland  County — Captain  Roberts.  Cap- 
tain Roberts  resigned  on  account  of  ill  health  and  C.  H. 
Dixon  was  made  Captain.  He  was  killed  by  a  mortar  shell 
in  front  of  Petersburg  and  Lieutenant  B.  F.  Dixon  was  pro- 
moted to  the  Captaincy,  which  he  held  to  the  close  of  the  war. 

Company  H — Gaston  County — Captain  Charles  Q.  Petty. 
Captain  Petty  was  promoted  to  Major  and  Lieutenant  J.  1^. 
Torrence  became  Captain. 

Company  I — Catawha  County — Captain  W.  W.  Chenault. 
Lieutenant  Charles  F.  Connor  after^vards  became  Captain. 
Lieutenant  Connor  always  made  me  think  of  a  game  rooster 
in  battle.  He  was  tall  and  straight  and  his  eye  was  full  of  fire. 

Company  K- — Lincoln  County- — Captain  Peter  Z.  Baxter. 
Upon  his  resignation  Lieutenant  George  L.  Phifer  and  later 
James   T.   Adams  became   Captain. 

In  the  organization  of  the  regiment  the  following  gentle- 
men were  elected  Field  Officers :  Stephen  D.  Ramseur,  of 
Lincoln  county,  Colonel.  He  afterwards  became  a  Major- 
General  and  was  killed  in  battle  19  September,  1864.  W. 
A.  Eliason,  Lieutenant-Colonel ;  Lee  M.  McAfee,  Major ; 
Cicero  Durham,  Adjutant ;  Dr.  Ruffin,  Chief  Surgeon.  Col- 
onel Eliason  resigned  and  Major  McAfee  was  promoted  to 
Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  after  the  promotion  of  Colonel  Ram- 
seur, McAfee  became  Colonel  of  the  regiment  and  com- 
manded it  to  the  close  of  the  war. 

Cicero  Durham  became  Quartermaster  of  the  regiment, 
but  was  in  every  battle  in  which  the  regiment  was  engaged 
and  always  at  the  front.  He  had  command  of  the  shai*p- 
shooters  and  was  killed  at  Drewry's  Bluff  while  bravely  lead- 
ing his  men.  I  would  be  glad  of  the  opportunity  of  naming 
many  more  of  the  Forty-ninth  Regiment  on  account  of  their 
magnificent  soldierly  qualities,  but  as  this  is  a  sketch  of  the 
regiment  and  not  of  individuals,  I  must  desist. 

While  the  Forty-ninth  Regiment  was  engaged  in  most  of 
the  battles  in  which  the  Army  of  !Northern  Virginia  partici- 

154  North  Carolina  Troops,   ISGl-'Go. 

pated,  and  always  with  honor,  and  while  I  would  be  glad  to 
tell  the  story  of  their  devotion  and  fortitude  and  bravery  on 
all  these  bloody  fields,  still  I  have  not  the  time  to  go  into  these 
matters,  and  will  confine  myself  to  a  brief  synopsis  of  tho 
doings  of  this  regiment  during  the  great  siege  of  Petersburg. 
I  do  not  believe  that  any  soldier  in  any  war,  either  civilized 
or  savage,  ever  suffered  more  than  the  men  who  filled  the 
ditches  around  Petersburg  from  June,  1864,  until  the  last  of 
March,  18G5. 

Half-clad  and  half-rationed  these  brave,  devoted  men  held 
the  lines  for  nine  long  months,  including  one  of  the  most  ter- 
rible winters  that  ever  spread  its  white  uumtle  over  the  earth. 
Barefooted  in  the  snow,  the  men  stood  to  their  posts  on  picket, 
or  at  the  port-holes.  Lying  in  bomb-proofs,  so-called,  with 
mud  and  water  to  the  ankles,  and  tho  constant  drip,  drip,  of 
muddy  water  from  above,  clothing  and  blankets  saturated, 
with  a  fire  that  only  made  smoke,  these  men  passed  through 
the  winter  of  1864  and  1865.  The  mortar  shells  from  the 
enemy's  guns  fell  in  the  ditches  or  crashed  through  the  bomb- 
proofs  day  and  night,  while  the  sharp,  shrill  hiss  of  the  minie 
ball,  and  the  shriek  of  shell  and  solid  shot  made  the  hours 
hideous  day  after  day,  and  night  after  night.  For  nine 
months  it  was  certain  death  for  a  man  to  raise  his  head  above 
the  works.  Yet  with  joke  and  laughter  these  men  dodged  the 
mortar  shells  and  elevated  their  old  ragged  hats  on  ramrods  to 
see  how  many  holes  would  be  shot  through  them  in  a  given 
time.  I  have  seen  a  dozen  men  gather  in  the  ditch  to  watch 
for  the  coming  of  a  "mortar"  as  they  called  it,  and  when  they 
saw  the  awful  thing  curving  towards  them,  they  would  run 
with  shout  and  gibe  around  a  traverse  while  it  exploded  in 
the  ditch.  I  saw  one  of  these  mortar  shells  fall  in  the  ditch 
and  lie  there  frying,  when  a  brave  soldier  from  Lincoln 
county  nushed  out  of  liis  l)oml>proof,  caught  it  up  in  his 
hands,  and  tossed  it  over  the  breastworks.  When  asked  why 
he  had  gone  out  of  a  place  of  safety  tri  do  such  a  rash  act,  he 
said :  "I  thought  maybe  the  pieces  might  hit  some  of  the 
fellers."  One  night  there  was  a  fearful  rainfall  and  the  next 
morning  it  was  discovered  that  a  part  of  the  dam  across  a 
small  stream  had  been  washed  away  and  all  the  water  in  the 

,  Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  155 

pond  had  disappeared,  leaving  an  opening  of  some  fifteen 
feet  through  which  the  bullets  from  the  Yankee  lines  could 
come  on  the  least  provocation.  Being  ofiicer  of  the  day,  my 
attention  was  called  to  a  crowd  of  soldiers  gathered  on  either 
side  of  the  chasm,  and  upon  investigation,  I  discovered  the 
amazing  fact,  that  these  men  were  trying  to  see  who  could  run 
across  without  being  killed,  or  wounded.  There  was  not  the 
slightest  necessity  for  any  of  them  to  cross,  but  in  a  spirit  of 
wantonness  and  fun,  they  were  making  the  effort.  A  fellow 
would  take  his  okl  hat  in  his  hand,  step  back  to  get  a  good 
start,  then  with  a  shout,  he  would  rush  across  and  kick  up  his 
heels  at  a  great  rate,  if  he  happened  to  get  over  safe.  I  had 
to  place  a  guard  there  to  make  them  stop  such  foolishness. 
I  give  this  incident  to  show  how^,  under  constant  danger,  men 
became  indifferent  to  it. 

The  morning  sun,  as  he  came  from  his  chamber  in  the  east, 
day  by  day,  made  plain  the  path  for  the  minie  ball,  and  the 
"torch"  of  the  mortar  shell  lighted  up  the  heavens  by  night. 
The  morning  was  a  call  to  battle  and  the  night  was  hideous 
with  bursting  sheik  No  wonder  men  became  inured  to  dan- 
ger, and  sought  excitement  in  playing  with  death. 

In  all  these  months  I  do  not  remember  a  single,  solitary 
complaint  made  by  any  of  the  men,  because  of  short  rations, 
or  cold  or  nakedness.  ISTo  intimations  w^ere  made  against 
the  character  of  canned  beef — we  had  none — a  piece  of  fat 
bacon  and  a  hard  and  mouldy  cracker  were  luxuries.  A  sol- 
dier in  the  trenches  asked  me  to  write  a  letter  to  his  wdfe  at 
home.     This  is  the  letter  in  substance: 

■'^Dear  Wife: — The  Captain  is  writing  this  letter  for  me, 
and  I  wish  to  say  that  I  am  well  and  getting  on  first-rate. 
George  Gill  had  his  brains  shot  out  yesterday  and  Jack  Gib- 
bons' son  and  three  others  were  torn  all  to  pieces  with  a  shell, 
but  thank  God  they  haven't  hit  me  yet,  and  if  I  get  home  I 
wall  make  up  for  all  lost  time  in  taking  care  of  you  and  the 
children.  I  was  sorry  to  hear  that  you  didn't  have  enough 
to  eat  and  the  children  were  crying  for  bread,  but  you  must 
be  brave,  little  woman,  and  do  the  best  you  can.  I  think  we 
will  whip  the  Yankees  in  a  little  while  longer,  and  then  I  can 
come  home  and  everything  will  be  all  right.     I  pray  for  you 

15G  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

and  the  little  ones  every  night  and  morning,  and  I  know  the 
good  God  will  not  let  you  sutfer  more  than  you  are  able  to 
bear.     Your  loving  husband,  etc." 

This  man  was  barefooted  in  January,  1865,  when  he  dic- 
tated the  letter  above.  He  had  not  eaten  anything  all  day 
(this  was  in  the  evening),  because  he  had  nothing  to  eat;  he 
was  without  a  coat  for  his  back,  and  yet  the  soul  within  him 
kept  him  fed  and  warm.  A  Confederate  soldier  standing 
barefoot,  in  tattered  trousers,  coatless  and  hatless,  witli  an 
Enfield  rifle  on  his  shoulder,  and  his  cartridge  box  full,  was 
as  brave  a  man  as  ever  met  an  enemy  on  any  field  of  battle 
in  any  country,  or  in  any  age.  Nimble  as  a  deer,  long- 
breathed  as  a  hound,  he  could  run  with  the  horsemen  with- 
out weariness  and  fight  all  day  mthout  hunger.  He  taught 
the  whole  world  how  to  fight,  and  when  I  meet  him  to-day  I 
lift  my  hat  and  stand  bareheaded  till  he  passes  by.  The  For^ 
ty-ninth  Regiment  was  in  General  M.  W.  Ransom's  Brigade 
during  all  these  weary  months,  together  ^vith  the  Twenty- 
fourth,  Twenty-fifth,  Thirty-fifth  and  Fifty-sixth  North 
Carolina  Regiments.  This  brigade  stood  between  Peters- 
burg and  the  enemy,  and  if  you  will  ask  any  citizen  of 
that  city  he  will  tell  you  how  they  loved  and  honored  Ran- 
som's Brigade.  General  Ransom  was  then  the  same  courtly 
and  kind-hearted  man  he  is  to-day.  Fearless  in  danger, 
courteous  and  kind  always,  the  true  gentleman  everywhere, 
he  was  the  idol  of  his  men. 

Although  we  were  fighting  every  day  while  the  siege  lasted, 
there  were  many  extraordinary  battles  during  this  period. 
I  have  not  time  to  notice  but  one  or  two,  and  notably  among 
these  was  the  battle  of  the  Crater. 

This  battle  occurred  on  30  July,  1864.  About  daylight 
the  mine,  wliich  the  enemy  had  charged  with  eight  thousand 
pounds  of  powder,  was  fired  and  a  terrific  explosion  was  the 
result.  ]\Iany  thought  tlie  judgment  day  had  come.  The 
earih,  with  all  it  contained,  was  thrown  into  the  air,  leaving 
a  hole  100  feet  long,  60  feet  wide,  and  30  feet  deep.  Men 
and  cannon  Avere  thrown  hundreds  of  feet  into  the  air.  Sim- 
Tiltaneoiis  witli  the  explosion  the  enemy  opened  two  hundred 
pieces  of  artillery  on  our  lines.     The  Forty-ninth  was  to  the 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  157 

left  of  the  ravine,  and  we  were  moved  rapidly  across  the 
ravine  and  up  the  works  to  the  crater.  And  until  the  enemy, 
which  had  taken  possession  of  our  lines,  was  beaten  hack,  we 
stood  in  the  position  assigned  to  us  and  fired  our  guns.  The 
enemy,  white  and  black,  came  in  solid  phalanx  shouting: 
"No  quarter  to  the  rebels."  They  held  their  position  until 
about  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  when  Mahone's  Brigade  ar- 
rived and  with  the  Twenty-fifth  jSTorth  Carolina  Regiment  of 
our  brigade  and  a  regiment  of  South  Carolina  troops, 
drove  them  out.  I  saw  the  Twenty-fifth  Regiment  as  they 
came  dashing  up  the  hill  towards  the  Crater.  How  we 
cheered  them !  They  rushed  up  to  the  Crater  which  was  full 
of  the  enemy,  white  and  black,  fired  one  volley  and  then  turn- 
ing tlie  butts  of  their  guns,  they  let  them  fall,  crushing  the 
skulls  of  negroes  at  every  blow.  This  was  more  than  mortal 
man  could  stand,  and  in  a  little  while  the  lines  were  re-estab- 
lished and  the  dead  of  tlie  enemy  lay  in  heaps  upon  the 
ground.  I  mention  this  battle  for  the  reason  that,  taken  un- 
awares as  we  were,  mth  the  heavens  filled  with  dust  and 
smoke,  and  the  earth  rocking  beneath  our  feet,  with  out-speak- 
ing thunders  in  our  ears,  if  that  portion  of  Lee's  army  which 
held  the  lines  around  Petersburg  had  not  been  made  up  of 
some  of  the  coolest  and  bravest  men  that  ever  fired  a  musket, 
they  would  have  stampeded  then  and  there  and  Grrant  would 
have  taken  the  city  and  Lee's  army  could  have  been  de- 
stroyed. This  is  doubtless  what  the  enemy  expected  us  to 
do,  but  instead  of  that,  our  brave  boys  never  wavered  for  an 
instant,  but  marched  to  the  rescue  of  the  gallant  South  Car- 
olinians, as  if  they  were  going  on  dress  parade.  General 
Ransom  being  absent,  the  brigade  was  commanded  that  day 
by  Colonel  McAfee,  of  the  Forty-ninth. 

Another  notable  battle  in  which  the  Forty-ninth  was  en- 
gaged was  the  battle  of  Hare's  Hill,  on  25  March,  1865.  In 
this  battle  the  Forty-ninth  lost  fully  one-half  its  number  in 
killed,  wounded  and  missing.  Somebody  blundered  here. 
On  the  morning  of  the  25th  a  corps  of  engineers  and  sharp- 
shooters crossed  over  the  space  between  the  lines,  and  without 
the  loss  of  a  single  man,  captured  the  enemy's  works,  includ- 

158  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'Go. 

ing  Fort  Stead  man,  together  with  a  largo  nnmber  of  prison- 
ers. The  iiiain  body  of  our  army  followed  and  took  posses- 
sion of  the  works  and  then  lay  down  and  waited  until  the 
enemy  could  reinforce  their  lines,  and  still  w'aited  until  they 
came  \\\)on  us  in  front  and  by  Hank  in  numbers  so  great  that 
they  c(»uld  not  l)e  counted,  then  we  were  ordered  to  fall  l)ack 
to  our  own  lines,  which  wo  did  through  such  a  storm  of  shot 
and  sliell  as  I  never  dreamed  of  before.  How  any  man  es- 
caped death  I  have  never  been  al>le  to  see.  I  remember 
starting  on  the  perilous  run  never  expecting  to  reach  our 
lines,  and  the  terrible  thought  would  come  to  me,  ''I  am  to  be 
shot  in  the  back."  I  have  always  been  able  to  find  some 
sort  of  excuse  for  failures,  but  in  this  instance  I  stand  to-day 
as  I  did  on  that  day,  and.  unhesitatingly  say,  "Somebody 

The  last  battle  I  shall  mention  was  that  of  Five  Forks,  the 
loss  of  which  caused  the  fall  of  Petersburg  and  practically 
ended  the  war.  After  the  disastrous  struggle  on  25  March 
the  Forty-ninth  Regiment  marched  tlirough  Petersburg  for 
the  last  time  in  a  drenching  rain,  and  lay  at  Battery  ISTo.  45 
all  night ;  then  we  were  moved  daily  from  place  to  place  until 
the  morning  of  the  31st  we  moved  in  the  direction  of  Dinwid- 
dle Court  House,  and  after  marching  and  counter-marching, 
we  finally  lay  down  on  our  arms  near  the  enemy,  and  waited 
for  daylight,  fully  expecting  to  be  ordered  into  battle  every 
minute.  We  were  doomed  to  disappointment,  however,  for 
early  in  the  morning  of  the  first  day  of  April  we  were  ordered 
to  Five  Forks,  with  the  enemy  following  close  in  our  rear. 
Reaching  Five  Forks,  we  quietly  threw  up  a  line  of  breast- 
works, and  the  enemy  came  thundering  on  in  front,  then  in 
the  rear,  the  men  of  the  Forty-ninth  blazing  away  with  the 
same  calm  deliberation  that  had  characterized  them  on  scores 
of  battlefields  before,  but  it  was  no  use.  The  Yankees  sim- 
ply run  over  us  and  crowded  us  so  that  it  became  impossible 
to  slioot.  They  literally  swarmed  on  all  sides  of  us,  and  by 
and  by,  as  I  looked  toward  the  center  of  the  regiment,  I  saw 
our  old  tattered  banner  slowly  sinking  out  of  sight.  A  few 
men  escaped  by  starting  early,  but  most  of  the  true  and 
tried  men  of  this  gallant  old  regiment  were  prisoners  of 

Forty-Ninth  Regiment.  159 

war  and  in  a  little  while  were  on  their  way  to  Point  Lookout, 
or  Johnson's  Island. 

It  is  unjust  to  all  the  other  regiments  of  the  North  Caro- 
lina troops  to  claim  for  any  one  regiment  any  special  bravery 
or  devotion  to  the  Lost  Cause.  There  was  not  a  regiment, 
so  far  as  my  information  goes,  that  did  not  meet  all  require- 
ments of  the  service  and  fill  the  measure  of  its  responsibility 
to  the  South.  But  while  I  do  not  claim  any  special  honor 
for  any  one  body  of  soldiers  from  North  Carolina,  I  do 
claim  this  for  my  State  as  against  other  Southern  States. 

With  a  population  in  1860  of  629,942,  and  115,000  vot- 
ers, North  Carolina  sent  127,000  soldiers  to  the  Confederate 
armies.  She  furnished  51,000  stands  of  arms,  horses  for 
seven  regiments  of  cavalry,  artillery  equipments  for  bat- 
teries, etc.  North  Carolina  expended,  out  of  her  own  funds, 
$26,663,000  and  never  applied  for  a  dollar  of  support  from 
the  Confederate  Government.  She  lost  37  Colonels  of  regi- 
ments killed  in  action,  or  died  of  wounds.  She  had  six 
Major-Generals  in  service,  and  three  of  them,  namely :  Pen- 
der, Ramseur  and  Whiting,  were  killed  in  battle.  There 
were  25  Brigadier-Generals  from  this  State,  four  of  whom 
were  killed,  and  all  the  others  were  wounded.  The  first  vic- 
tory was  won  by  North  Carolinians  at  Bethel,  10  June,  1861, 
and  they  fired  the  last  volley  at  Appomattox. 

In  the  seven  days'  fight  around  Richmond  in  1862,  there 
were  92  Confederate  regiments  engaged,  and  46  of  them 
were  from  North  Carolina — just  one-half — and  more  than 
one-half  of  the  killed  and  wounded  were  from  this  State.  At 
Chancellors ville  in  May,  1863,  there  were  forty  North  Caro- 
lina regiments,  and  of  the  killed  and  wounded  over  one-half 
were  from  this  State. 

At  Gettysburg  2,592  Confederates  were  killed,  and  12,707 
wounded.  Of  the  killed  770  were  North  Carolinians,  435 
Georgians,  399  Virginians,  2,588  Mississippians,  217  South 
Carolinians,  and  204  Alabamians.  The  Northern  army  lost 
in  this  gTeat  battle  3,155  killed  and  14,529  wounded.  North 
Carolina  lost  during  the  war  41,000  men  who  were  killed  in 
battle  or  died  in  the  service,  14,000  of  the  above  number  were 

160  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

killed  upon  the  battlefield,  against  9,000  as  the  highest  num- 
ber from  any  other  Southern  State. 

These  are  facts  and  figures  which  do  not  properly  belong 
to  a  sketch  of  the  Forty-ninth  Regiment;  still  they  are  true 
as  to  the  part  which  our  good  State  played  in  that  dreadful 
war,  and  I  want  our  North  Carolina  boys  and  girls  to  know 
what  sort  of  forefathers  they  had  in  the  times  which  tried 
the  souls  of  men. 

Peace  to  the  ashes  of  the  brave  men  who  gave  their  lives  for 
the  Lost  Cause!  "They  sleep  their  last  sleep,  they  have 
fought  their  last  battle,  and  no  sound  can  awake  them  to 
glory  again." 

May  God  bless  the  living!  Some  of  them  are  watching, 
day  by  day,  for  the  sunset's  glow,  or  stand  listening  to  the 
beat  of  the  surf  as  it  breaks  upon  the  shores  of  eternity.  May 
God  give  them  victory  in  the  last  battle ! 

B.  F.  Dixon. 

Shelby,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 


1.  .John  C.  Vanhook,  Lieut.-Colonel.  3.    J.  T.  Ellington,  1st  Lieut.,  Co  C. 

2.  Wm.  A.  Blalock,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  A.         4.    J.  C.  Ellington,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  C. 


By  J.  C.  ELLINGTON,  Second  Lieutenant  Company  C. 

Tlio  Fiftietii  Eegiixiiut  !N"orth  Carolina  Troops  was  or- 
ganized 15  April,  1862,  at  Camp  Mangum,  near  Raleigh^ 
composed  of  the  following  companies : 

Company  A — Person  County — Captain  John  C.  Van- 

Company  B — Robeson  County — Captain  E.  C.  Adkinson, 

Company  C — Johnston  County — Captain  R.  D.  Luns- 

Company  T) — Johnston  County- — Captain  H.  J.  Ryals. 

Company  E — Wayne  County — Captain  John  Griswold. 

Company  E — Moore  County — Captain  James  A.  O.  Kelly. 

Company  G — Rutherford  County — Captain  C  W.  An- 

Company  H — Harnett  County — Captain  Joseph  H.  Ad- 

Company  I — Rutherford  County — Captain  John  B. 

Company  K — Rutherford  County — Captain  Samuel  Wil- 

Marshall  I).  Craton,  of  Wayne  county,  was  elected  Colo- 
nel ;  James  A.  Washington,  of  Wayne  county,  Lieutenant- 
Colonel;  George  Wortham,  of  Granville  county,  Major;  Dr. 
Walter  Duffy,  of  Rutherford  county,  was  appointed  Surgeon ; 
E.  B.  Borden,  of  Wayne  county,  Quartermaster ;  E.  S.  Par- 
ker, of  Wayne  county.  Commissary;  W.  H.  Borden,  of 
Wayne  county.  Adjutant ;  Jesse  Edmundson,  of  Wayne,  Ser- 
geant-Major;  Dr.  R.  S.  Moran,  Chaplain. 

The  six  weeks  following  the  organization  of  the  regiment 
were  spent  at  Camp  Mangum,  and  we  were  subjected  to  al- 
most constant  drilling  from  morning  till  night.  There  was 

162  North  Carolina  Trooi-s,   1861-65. 

not,  during  tliis  time,  a  single  nuisket  in  the  regiment,  but  as 
a  substitute  we  were  armed  with  what  was  then  known  as  the 
"Conf('(lei"a1('  })ike.''  Tliis  formidable  implement  of  war  con- 
sisted of  a  wooden  haudle  about  ten  feet  long,  at  one  end  of 
which  a  dirk-shaj^ed  spear  was  securely  fastened,  and  a1>- 
tached  to  lliis  spear  at  the  sliank,  or  socket,  was  another  steel 
blade  in  the  form  of  a  brier  hook  in  order,  as  the  boys  said, 
that  they  could  get  them  "a-going  and  a-coming."  These 
were  not  very  well  adapted  for  practice  in  the  manual  of 
arms,  but  at  the  end  of  the  six  weeks  the  regiment  w^as  re- 
markably well  drilled,  considering  all  the  circumstances.  Ou 
•31  May  we  were  ordered  to  Garysburg,  near  Weldon,  where 
the  same  routine  of  daily  and  almost  hourly'drill  was  kept  up 
until  19  June,  when  we  were  ordered  to  Petersburg,  Va.,  and 
w^ent  into  camp  at  Dunn's  Hill,  near  the  city.  In  a  short  while 
■\ve  were  moved  from  here  to  Pickett's  factory,  on  Swift  creek, 
where  we  remained  until  26  June,  on  which  date  we  were  or- 
•dered  to  Drury's  Bluff,  on  the  James  river,  below  Richmond. 
We  were  now  organized  into  a  brigade  composed  of  the 
'Thirty-second,  Forty-third,  Forty-fifth,  Fiftieth  and  Fifty- 
third  ISTorth  Carolina  Regiments,  and  Second  I*Torth  Carolina 
Battalion,  with  General  Junius  Daniel  in  command  of  the 

I^T    TKONT    OF    RICHMOND,    1862. 

On  Sunday,  20  June,  we  were  made  to  realize  for  the  first 
time  that  we  were  actually  a  part  of  the  great  Confederate 
army,  when  we  received  orders  to  prepare  at  once  for  a  forced 
march  to  reinforce  our  troops  who  had  already  been  fighting 
for  several  days  in  succession  around  Richmond.  Taking 
the  Forty-third,  Forty-fifth  and  Fiftieth  ISTorth  Carolina  Reg- 
iments and  Brcm's  (later  Grahaui's),  Battery,  General 
Daniel  crossed  the  James  river  on  a  pontoon  bridge,  and 
after  a  hard  day's  march  over  almost  impassable  roads,  we 
reached  a  point  near  the  two  contending  annies  and  camp  for 
the  night.  About  daybreak  on  the  morning  of  30  June  we 
resumed  the  march.  Just  at  sun  rise,  and  immediately  in 
•^our  front,  at  a  short  distance,  a  balloon  sent  up  by  the  enemy 
for  the  purpose  of  locating  our  lines  and  discovering  the 

Fiftieth    Regiment.    .  163 

irnovements  of  our  troops,  made  its  appearance  above  the  tree 
tops.  Our  line  was  iiumediately  halted  and  a  battery  quickly 
gotten  into  position,  opened  fire  on  the  balloon,  which  rapidly 
descended  and  passed  from  view.  We  resumed  the  march, 
but  being  thus  timely  warned,  changed  our  course.  We  are 
soon  joined  by  Walker's  Brigade,  moving  on  a  different  road, 
and  together  reached  Kew  Market  at  an  early  hour.  At  this 
place  we  were  joined  by  General  Wise,  with  the  Twenty-sixth 
and  Forty-sixth  Virginia  Regiments,  and  two  light  batteries, 
he  having  left  Chafiin's  Bluff  soon  after  Daniel's  Brigade  left 
Drewry's  Bluff',  for  the  purpose,  as  he  states  in  his  official  re- 
port, of  supporting  General  Holmes  at  his  urgent  request. 

The  aforementioned  troops,  together  with  a  squadron  of 
cavalry  under  command  of  Major  Burroughs,  constituted  the 
conunand  of  General  Tlieo-.  H.  Holmes,  w^hich,  early  on  the 
morning  of  30  June,  took  position  near  New  Market  on  the 
extreme  right  of  the  Confederate  line.  We  remained  in  this 
position  for  several  hours,  when  we  received  orders  to  move 
down  the  River  road  to  support  some  batteries  in  charge  of 
Colonel  Deshler,  which  had  been  placed  in  position  in  a 
thick  wood  near  the  River  Road  between  Malvern  Hill  and 
the  James  river.  The  three  regiments  of  General  Daniel's 
Brigade  took  position  in  rear  of  Colonel  Deshler's  Battery 
with  the  Forty-fifth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  commanded 
by  Lieutenant-Colonel  Morehead,  on  the  right;  the  Fiftieth, 
commanded  by  Colonel  Craton,  in  the  center ;  the  Forty- 
third,  commanded  by  Colonel  Kenan,  on  the  left.  The  right 
of  the  Forty-fifth  rested  a  little  beyond  where  the  roads 
forked,  and  was  partially  protected  by  the  woods ;  the  Forty- 
third  had  the  slight  protection  afforded  by  woods  on  both 
sides  of  the  road ;  the  Fiftieth  occupied  the  open  space  made 
by  clearings  on  both  sides  of  the  road  at  this  point.  About 
the  time  the  formation  of  our  lines  in  the  road  was  completed, 
we  were  startled  by  the  explosion  of  a  single  shell  just  over 
our  heads,  as  if  dropped  from  the  skies  above.  We  could 
form  no  idea  whence  it  came,  but  were  not  long  kept  in  doubt, 
for  in  a  few  minutes  there  was  a  perfect  shower  of  shells  of 
tremendous  proportion  and  hideous  sound  hurled  from  the 
heavy  naval  guns  of  the  Federal  fleet  on  the  James  river, 

164  North  Carolina  Troops,   1SG1-'65. 

just  opposite  and  about  900  yards  distant,  with  a  perfectly 
open  field  intervening.  The  scene  was  awe-inspiring,  espe- 
cially to  raw  troops  who  were  under  fire  for  the  first  time. 
Such  a  baptism  of  fire  for  troops  not  actually  engaged  in  bat- 
tle lias  very  rarely  been  experienced  in  the  history  of  war. 
There  was  a  slight  depression  in  the  road-way,  and  across  the 
open  space  occupied  by  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  was  a  plank 
fence.  We  were  ordered  to  lie  down  behind  this  for  such 
protection  as  it  and  the  embankment  on  the  road  side  might 
afford.  About  tliis  time  a  squadron  of  cavalry,  which  was 
drawn  up  in  line  on  the  right  of  the  road  and  just  opposite 
the  position  occupied  by  the  Fiftieth  Regiment,  was  stam- 
peded by  the  explosion  of  a  shell  in  their  ranks,  and  in  their 
wild  flight  rushed  their  horses  against  the  plank  fence  which, 
like  a  dead-fall,  caught  many  of  our  men  who  were  held  down 
to  be  trampled  by  the  horses,  until  we  could  throw  down  the 
rail  fence  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  road  and  allow  them  to 
escape,  which  they  were  not  slow  to  do.  In  the  confusion  in- 
cident to  this  afl'air,  and  the  effort  of  the  men  to  escape  in- 
jury from  the  wild  horses,  the  color-bearer  of  the  Fiftieth 
Regiment  escaped  to  the  open  field  to  the  right  of  the  road  and 
planted  the  colors  in  full  view  of  the  fleet  on  the  river,  thereby 
concentrating  their  fire  on  our  part  of  the  line.  It  was  some 
time  before  he  was  noticed  standing  solitary  and  alone  in  the 
open  field,  grasping  his  flag  staff,  which  was  firmly  ]danted  in 
the  ground,  as  if  bidding  defiance  to  the  whole  Union  army 
and  navy,  and  the  rest  of  mankind.  As  soon  as  order  had 
been  restored,  Colonel  Deshler  was  notified  that  the  infantry 
support  was  in  position,  and  he  was  instructed  to  open  fire  on 
the  enemy's  lines,  which  were  now  occupying  Malvern  Hill. 
This  served  to  divert  a  portion  of  the  fire  of  the  gunboats 
from  our  part  of  the  line,  but  at  the  same  time  drew  upon  us 
the  fire  of  the  enemy's  batteries  on  jNIalvern  Hill  at  short 
range  with  grape  and  canister,  together  witb  solid  shot  and 
shell.  We  were  now  under  a  heavy  cross  fire,  wifli  no  protec- 
tion from  the  fire  of  these  batteries.  The  Confederate  bat- 
teries in  our  front  under  command  of  Colonel  Deshler,  were 
suffering  terribly,  and  although  many  of  the  men  were  either 
killed  or  disabled  by  wounds,  and  most  of  the  horses  lost, 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  165 

they  never  wavered,  but  stood  by  their  guns  and  served  them 
to  the  close  of  the  fight.  As  the  fire  from  Malvern  Hill  con- 
tinued to  increase,  new  batteries  being  constantly  added, 
General  Holmes  requested  General  Daniel  to  send  forward 
the  guns  of  Brem's  batter^'  to  reinforce  Colonel  Desh- 
ler.  A  short  while  after  these  passed  to  the  front.  General 
Daniel  received  an  order  from  General  Holmes  to  advance  a 
portion  of  his  infantry  to  their  support.  The  Forty-fifth 
and  Fiftieth  Regiments  promptly  moved  forward  in  column 
down  the  road,  but  had  proceeded  only  a  short  distance  when 
we  were  met  by  Brem's  Battery  in  wild  flight,  dashing 
through  our  ranks,  knocking  down  and  running  over  many 
of  our  men  with  their  horses  and  guns.  About  this  time 
the  Federals  posted  a  battery  on  our  right  flank  at  short 
range.  As  it  was  impossible  to  withstand  this  flank  fire,  we 
were  ordered  to  leave  the  road  and  take  position  under  cover 
of  the  woods  on  the  right.  The  writer  remained  in  the  road, 
but  took  advantage  of  such  protection  as  was  afi^orded  by  an 
oak  gate  post  about  eighteen  inches  square  standing  on  the 
right  of  the  road.  I  had  been  here  but  a  short  while  when 
General  Daniel  came  riding  slowly  along  the  line,  speaking 
to  and  encouraging  the  men,  his  horse  bleeding  profusely  from 
a  wound  just  received.  There  was  a  perfect  shower  of  shot 
and  shell  along  the  road  all  the  while,  but  as  he  reached  a 
point  opposite  where  I  was  standing,  a  shell  from  the  gun- 
boats exploded  just  above  the  road,  and  I  saw  him  fall  from 
his  horse.  He  was  soon  able  to  rise  and  walk  to  the  gate 
post,  where  he  remained  until  he  recovered  from  the  shock, 
after  which  he  walked  to  the  rear,  secured  another  horse,  and 
returning  to  where  I  was  ordered  me  to  go  across  the  road, 
form  my  company,  which  was  the  color  company  of  the  regi- 
ment, march  it  to  our  former  position  on  the  road  and  have 
the  regiment  form  on  it.  We  were  all  soon  back  in  our  first 
position  on  the  road,  where  we  remained  until  about  10 
o'clock  that  night,  when  w^e  were  marched  back  up  the  road 
to  a  piece  of  woods  and  camped  for  the  night.  On  the  fol- 
lowing day,  1  July,  v.-e  took  position  near  that  of  the  day  be- 
fore, and  remained  in  line  of  battle  during  the  day  and  all 
night.     For  six  days  in  succession  the  Confederates  had  been 

166  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

successful  in  battle,  and  the  Federal  army,  under  General 
McClellan,  was  whipped,  demoralized  and  in  full  retreat, 
hoping  almost  against  hope,  that  they  might  by  some  chance 
reaeli  cover  of  their  gunboats  on  the  James  river.  The  battle 
of  Malvern  Hill,  the  last  of  the  seven  days'  battles,  proved 
disastrous  to  the  Confederates.  There  was  a  fearful  sacri- 
fice of  life  and  all  for  naught,  as  on  the  following  morning, 
2  July,  we  stood  for  hours  and  watched  the  Federal  column 
moving  along  the  roads  to  their  haven  of  safety  under  cover 
of  their  gunboats  at  Harrison's  Landing,  and  we  were  pow- 
erless to  interpose  any  obstacle. 

Without  presuming  to  criticise  the  conduct  of  this  battle, 
or  fix  the  responsibility  for  failure  to  capture  McClellan's  en- 
tire army,  a  result  which  at  this  time  seemed  almost  abso- 
lutely certain,  I  will  simply  recall  the  fact  that  as  early  as  the 
night  of  29  June,  and  all  day  of  the  30th,  General  Holmes 
was  within  a  short  distance  of  the  naturally  strong  position 
of  Malveni  Hill  with  more  than  6,000  troops,  and  could  easily 
have  occupied  this  position.  During  the  day  of  30  June, 
General  Porter,  of  the  Federal  army,  took  advantage  of  this 
opportunity  to  occupy  and  fortify  these  heights,  and  thereby 
cover  the  retreat  and  make  possible  the  escape  of  McClellan's 
army,  Avhile  the  6,000  troops  under  General  Holmes  for  two 
days  and  nights  served  no  other  purpose  than  to  fumisli  tar- 
gets for  the  Federal  gunboats  and  batteries. 

On  2  July  we  commonced  the  march  back  to  our  former 
camp  at  Drewrv's  Bluff,  reacliing  tliere  about  S  o'clock  the 
next  moniing. 

On  6  July  we  were  ordered  to  Petersluirg,  where  for  sev- 
eral weeks  we  were  employed  in  constnieting  breastworks 
around  the  city  and  doing  picket  duty  nlong  the  river. 


On  -'51  July,  just  one  luoutli  after  tlic  battle  of  ^lalvern 
Hill,  the  infantry  bi'igades  of  Generals  ^Manning  and  Daniel, 
and  the  artillery  brought  over  by  General  Pendleton,  consist- 
ing of  forty-three  pieces,  together  with  the  light  batteries  be- 
longing to  General  D.  JT.  Hill's  command,  making  seventy 
pieces  in  all,  left  Petersburg  on  a  secret  mission.     In  order 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  167 

to  conceal  the  real  design,  the  report  had  been  freely  circu- 
lated that  it  was  a  demonstration  against  Suffolk.  We  left 
Petersburg  at  7  o'clock  a.  in.,  inarched  seven  miles  and  were 
halted  at  Perkinson's  Mill,  where  rations  were  issued  to  the 
men.  Late  in  the  afternoon  we  resumed  the  inarch,  having 
received  orders  that  all  canteens  or  anything  that  was  calcu- 
lated to  make  unnecessary  noise,  should  be  discarded,  and  that 
no  one  should  speak  above  a  whisper  under  penalty  of  death. 
The  night  was  intensely  dark,  as  a  heavy  thunder  storm  pre- 
vailed. This  caused  much  trouble  and  consequent  delay  on 
the  part  of  the  artillery,  which  was  following  in  our  rear. 
About  midnight  General  Hill,  with  the  infantry  brigades  of 
Manning  and  Daniel,  reached  Merchant's  Hope  Church.  In 
a  short  while  General  Pendleton  arrived  and  reported  to 
General  Hill  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  get  his  guns  in 
position  ill  time  to  make  tlie  attack  that  night,  as  had  been 
contemplated  and  planned.  General  Hill  expressed  great 
disappointment  and  fear  that  the  expedition  would  prove  a 
failure,  as  our  troops  would  undoubtedly  be  discovered  the 
next  day.  He  turned  over  the  command  to  General  S.  G. 
French  and  returned  to  Petersburg  that  night.  The  infantry 
moved  back  from  tlie  road  in  a  thick  wood  just  opposite  the 
church,  where  they  remained  concealed  the  balance  of  the 
night,  all  of  the  next  day  and  until  midnight  of  1  August. 
About  the  time  we  reached  our  position  on  the  night  of  31 
July,  tlie  rain,  which  had  been  threatening  during  the  fore 
part  of  the  night,  broke  loose  in  a  perfect  torrent,  thoroughly 
flooding  the  flat,  swampy  ground  upon  which  we  were  com- 
pelled to  lie  until  midnight  of  1  Augmst. 

This  day,  1  August,  was  the  date  set  apart  by  the  State  au- 
thorities of  ISTorth  Carolina  for  the  casting  of  the  soldier  vote 
in  the  State  election,  which  was  then  held  on  the  first  Thurs- 
.  day  in  Augiist.  We,  therefore,  had  the  novel  experience  of 
conducting  an  important  and  exciting  election  while  lying 
flat  on  the  gTound  in  mud  and  water,  and  "no  one  allowed  to 
move  or  speak  under  penalty  of  death."  It  is  needless  to 
state  that  Colonel  Z.  B.  Vance,  who  was  recognized  as  the 
soldiers'  candidate  for  Governor,  received  an  overwhelming 
majority  of  the  vote  cast.     The  writer,  who  was  then  eighteen 

168  North  Carolina  Troops,   1SC1-'65. 

years  of  age,  had  the  pleasure  of  casting  his  first  political 
vote  for  this  favorite  son  of  the  Old  North  State.  For  fear 
that  some  member  of  Congress,  over  zealous  for  the  mainte- 
nance of  "the  purity  of  the  ballot,"  may  introduce  a  "joint 
resolution"  to  inquire  into  the  legality  of  this  election,  I  will 
state  that  in  the  army  "age"  was  not  one  of  the  qualifications 
inquired  into,  but  the  carrying  of  a  musket  or  sword  was  con- 
sidered all-suflicient. 

After  it  had  been  decided  that  it  was  impracticable  to  make 
the  attack  on  the  night  of  31  July,  General  Pendleton  gave 
orders  to  his  subordinate  officers  to  take  such  steps  as  would 
effectuallv  conceal  their  guns  and  horses  from  the  observation 
of  the  enemy  when  they  sent  up  their  balloon  next  morning, 
which  w^as  their  custom  each  morning  as  soon  as  it  was  light 
enough  to  see  distinctly.  They  had  barely  completed  this 
task  when  the  balloon  was  seen  slowly  ascending,  but  fortu- 
nately they  were  not  discovered.  Each  commander  of  a  bat- 
tery had  certain  specific  work  assigned  him  by  General  Pen- 
dleton, and  they  spent  the  entire  day  in  selecting  locations 
and  routes  by  Avhich  they  could  reach  the  same  the  follomng 
night.  They  also  took  advantage  of  the  day  time,  when 
everything  was  in  full  view,  to  range  stakes  by  which  to  direct 
their  fire  at  night.  The  long  range  guns  were  directed  on 
McClellan's  camp  across  the  river,  and  the  short  range  on  the 
shipping  on  tlu;  river.  The  plan  was  to  make  the  attack  pre- 
cisely at  midniglit,  but  it  was  12  :30  before  everything  was  in 
readiness.  Forty-three  of  the  seventy  guns  had  been  placed 
in  position  on  tlic  bank  of  the  river,  some  of  them  at  the  very 
water's  edge.  The  otlier  guns  were  not  considered  of  suffi- 
cient range,  and  were,  therefore,  not  brought  into  action.  By 
12  o'clock  the  infantry  lind  been  quietly  formed,  moved 
across  the  road,  and  drawn  up  in  line  between  the  church  and 
the  river,  in  rear  of  our  g\ms.  We  were  held  in  suspense  for 
half  an  liour  wlioii  tlic  expected  "signal"  gim  was  fired.  Im- 
mediately and  sinniltaneously  the  forty-three  guns  were  dis- 
charged. Each  of  tlie  guns  liad  been  supplied  with  from 
twenty  to  thirty  rounds,  with  instiiictions  to  fire  these  as  rap- 
idly as  possible,  hitcli  np  and  retire.  The  noise  and  the 
flaslies  of  light  produced  by  the  rapid  and  continuous  fire  of 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  169 

these  guns  in  the  dead  of  a  dark,  still  night,  immediately  on 
the  water  front  of  the  river,  was  awe-inspiring  in  the  extreme, 
and  the  consternation  produced  among  the  shipping  on  tlie 
river  and  in  the  camp  beyond  was  indescribable.  In  less 
than  ten  minutes  many  of  the  vessels  were  sinking  and 
many  others  were  seriously  damaged.  In  a  few  minutes 
after  we  opened  fire  several  gunboats,  which  were  up  the  river 
on  the  lookout  for  the  Confederate  "Merrimac"  ISTo.  2,  which 
they  were  momentarily  expecting  to  come  down  the  river,  and 
which  were  constantly  kept  under  a  full  head  of  steam  and 
prepared  for  instant  action,  steamed  past  our  position  at  a 
rapid  rate  of  speed,  raking  the  banks  of  the  river  with  their 
fire,  but  not  halting  to  engage  our  batteries  in  fair  action. 
Our  only  casualties  were  one  man  killed  and  two  wounded  by 
the  explosion  of  a  shell  at  one  of  the  batteries  served  by  Cap- 
tain Dabney.  The  damage  inflicted  on  the  enemy  will  per- 
haps never  be  known.  General  McClellan,  in  his  first  re- 
port to  Washington  next  morning,  states  his  only  damage  to 
be  one  man  slightly  wounded  in  the  leg,  but  in  a  later  report 
the  same  day,  admits  the  loss  of  ten  men  killed  and  twelve 
wounded,  and  a  number  of  horses  killed ;  but  he  strangely 
omits  any  reference  to  the  damage  inflicted  on  the  shipping 
on  the  river  where  most  of  the  guns  were  directed,  and  at 
much  shorter  range  than  his  camp,  where,  as  stated  in  his  re- 
port, "For  about  half  an  hour  the  fire  was  very  hot,  the  shells 
falling  everywhere  from  these  headquarters  to  Westover."  As 
evidence  that  the  damage  to  the  shipping  must  have  been 
serious,  on  the  following  morning  as  the  tide  came  in  the 
whole  face  of  the  river  was  covered  with  floating  wreckage. 
Thus  ended  one  of  the  most  interesting,  as  it  was  one  of  the 
most  mysterious  afPairs  of  the  war. 

After  the  affair  just  related,  we  returned  to  Petersburg 
and  thence  to  our  former  camp  at  Drewry's  Bluff,  when  we 
were  again  employed  in  constructing  fortifications  and  doing 
such  picket  duty  as  was  required. 

On  14  August  General  McClellan  commenced  very  sud- 
denly and  hurriedly  to  abandon  his  camp  at  Harrison's  Land- 
ing, and  a  few  days  thereafter  the  writer  rode  down  the  river 
and  went  through  and  took  a  general  survey  of  the  camp.     I 

170  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

have  never  witnessed  so  great  destruction  of  property  as  I 
saw  then.  Articles  of  clothing  and  blankets  (all  new)  by 
tlie  thousands,  were  piled  in  great  heaps  and  apparently  sat- 
urated with  oil  and  fired.  Great  heaps  of  corn  and  oats  in 
sacks  were  similarly  treated  and  guns  by  the  hundreds  and 
various  other  articles  of  value  were  scattered  over  the  camp^ 
indicating  that  they  must  have  left  in  a  very  gi'eat  haste. 

Tn  the  early  part  of  the  war  it  was  persistently  charged 
and  as  persistently  denied,  that  the  Federal  troops  used 
"steel  breast-plates"  for  protection.  I  can  not  certify  as  to 
the  truth  of  the  charge,  but  will  state  that  I  saw  a  number  of 
their  breast-plates  which  were  left  in  McClellan's  camp. 

We  remained  at  and  around  Drewry's  Bluff  the  balance  of 
the  year.  In  December  we  constructed  comfortable  log 
cabins  in  which  to  spend  the  winter.  We  completed  them  in 
time  to  move  in  just  a  few  days  before  Christmas.  We  en- 
joyed a  jolly  Christmas  and  congTatulated  ourselves  on  being 
comfortably  housed  for  the  winter,  but  on  the  last  day  of  De- 
cember the  brigade  received  "marching  orders,"  and  on  1  Jan- 
uary, 1863,  we  started  for  iSTorth  Carolina  and  reached  Golds- 
boro  on  3  January.  We  remained  here  until  3  February, 
when  we  started  on  tlie  march  to  Kinston  in  a  very  heavy 
snow  storm.  We  reached  Kinston  on  7  Feliruarv,  and  went 
into  caiiip. 

A'l'TACK    ox    NEW    BEUX. 

A  plan  for  a  general  and  concertc^l  mov(Mnent  along  the 
coast  region  between  Xorfolk  and  Wilmiiigtnn  had  l)ecn  ar- 
ranged for  tlie  early  spring.  A  part  of  \hv  \)\i\n  was  to  make 
a  simultaneous  and  cond)ined  attack  t)n  New  Bern  from  three 
points.  General  Pettigrew  was  to  open  the  attack  from  the 
north  side  of  the  Neuse  river  and  General  Daniel  with  his 
brigade  was  to  follow  on  the  south  side,  while  General  Bob- 
ert  Bansom  moved  down  the  Trent  river,  these  last  twx:)  com- 
mands to  attack  fi'om  tlie  land  side  and  tlie  rear  of  the  city. 
The  Forty-third,  Forty-Hfth  and  Fifticlh  Bogiments  of  Dan- 
iel's Brii^adc  Icfl  t1ic  caiiip  ncnr  Kiiislnn  dn  the  nioi'iiing  of  12 
^larch,  moving  down  on  the  south  side  of  Xeuse  river,  accom- 
panied by  General  D.  IF.  Hill  in  person.      Late  in  the  after- 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  171 

noon  of  13  March,  we  encountered  the  enemy  in  considerable 
force  of  infantry,  cavalry  and  artillery,  and  strongly  forti- 
fied at  "Deep  Gully,"  a  small  stream  a  few  miles  west  of 
]^ew  Bern. 

General  Daniel  led  the  attack  in  person,  and  after  a  lively 
skirmish  the  enemy  retired  liastily  and  in  much  confusion. 
After  thoroughly  shelling  the  woods  in  front,  we  occupied 
their  abandoned  works  for  the  night.  During  the  night  the 
enemy  was  reinforced  by  three  regiments  of  Massachusetts  in- 
fantry, together  with  cavalry  and  artillery.  At  daybreak  on 
the  following  morning  we  moved  to  the  east  side  of  the  stream 
and  took  position  in  the  following  order:  Forty-fifth  Regi- 
ment in  the  centre,  Forty-third  to  the  right,  and  Fiftieth  to 
the  left  of  the  road.  A  strong  skirmish  line  was  immediately 
thrown  forward  by  the  Fiftietli  Regiment  to  feel  for  the  en- 
emy in  the  thick  wood  in  our  front.  When  they  had  ad- 
vanced only  a  few  paces  in  front  of  the  main  line  they  re- 
ceived a  volley  from  the  enemy,  to  which  they  promtly  re- 
plied, and  then  followed  a  lively  skirmish,  our  line  slowly, 
but  steadily,  advancing  all  the  w^hile.  The  enemy  resisted 
stubbornly,  but  were  forced  back  on  their  main  line.  This 
our  men  were  instructed  to  do,  and  then  to  slowly  fall  back  in 
the  hope  that  the  enemy  would  follow  and  be  drawn  on  our 
main  line  and  thus  bring  on  a  regular  engagement,  but  they 
remained  behind  their  fortifications.  While  the  Fiftieth 
Regiment  was  thus  engaged.  Colonel  Kenan,  with  his  Forty- 
third  Regiment,  gallantly  drove  the  enemy  from  his  front  on 
the  right  of  the  road.  We  were  in  suspense  in  the  meantime, 
waiting  for  the  sound  of  Pettigrew's  guns  on  the  north  side  of 
the  river,  which,  by  arrangement,  was  to  be  the  signal  for  our 
advance  to  the  attack  of  the  city  from  the  rear.  Owing  to 
the  soft,  miry  character  of  the  soil  on  the  flat  lands  on  the 
north  side  of  the  river,  he  found  it  impossible  to  move  his 
gxxns  near  enough  to  be  brought  into  action,  and  without  these 
nothing  could  be  accomplished,  and  he  concluded  to  withdraw 
his  line  and  this  forced  us  to  retire  from  our  position,  which 
we  did  the  following  day  and  returned  to  Kinston. 

172  North  Carolina  Tkoops,  1861 -'65. 

washington^  n.  c. 

On  25  JMarcli,  1863,  the  Fiftieth  Kegiment  left  Kinston  for 
Greenville,  and  on  the  29th,  crossed  the  Tar  river,  and  join- 
ing Garnett's  Brigade  moved  on  Washington,  which  we  in- 
vested for  sixteen  days.  The  regiment  first  took  position 
with  Garnett's  Brigade  on  the  east  side,  and  near  the  town, 
but  was  afterwards  ordered  to  meet  a  strong  force  of  the  en- 
emy, which  were  reported  to  be  advancing  from  Plymouth. 
They  afterwards  recrossed  the  Tar  river  and  rejoined  their 
old  brigade  (General  Daniel's),  which  had  been  recalled 
from  Virginia,  at  the  Cross  Roads  near  Washington,  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river.  On  9  April  the  Fiftieth  Regiment 
was  sent  by  General  Daniel,  at  the  request  of  General  Pet- 
tigrew  to  aid  him  in  the  affair  at  Blount's  Mill.  After  this 
we  returned  to  our  brigade  at  the  Cross  Roads,  and  on  the 
night  of  the  14th  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  moved  down  the 
'Grimes  Road"  and  took  position  in  a  small  clearing  to  the 
right  of  the  woods  a  few  hundred  yards  from  the  bridge  at 
the  town.  We  were  exposed  to  heavy  fire  from  the  Federal 
guns,  which  had  perfect  range  of  the  road  for  more  than  a 
mile.  We  were  located  by  the  small  clearing  which  we  oc- 
cupied and  were  subjected  to  heavy  fire  from  the  combined 
batteries  throughout  the  night,  but  having  the  protection  of 
the  timber  in  the  intervening  swamp,  suffered  very  little.  On 
the  15th  the  entire  brigade  took  position  near  the  river  be- 
tween the  town  and  Rodman's  Point.  The  Fiftieth  Regi- 
ment was  sent  across  the  low  land  and  took  position  immedi- 
ately on  the  bank  of  the  river.  In  a  short  while  our  batteries 
at  Hill's  and  Rodman's  points  opened  a  heavy  fire,  which 
lasted  only  for  a  short  while.  We  supposed  that  the  enemy's 
boats,  which  were  constantly  attempting  to  "run  the  block- 
ade," had  been  driven  back,  as  usual,  but  in  a  few  minutes 
were  taken  completely  by  surprise  when  a  small  gunboat 
made  its  appearance  in  front  of  us  and  discovering  our  line 
drawn  up  on  .the  bank  of  the  river,  greeted  us  with  a  succes- 
sion of  broad  sides  with  grape  and  canister,  until  we  "double- 
quicked"  across  the  open  ground  and  found  cover  behind  a 
swamp.     The  gari'ison  now  being  relieved  by  an  ample  sup- 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  173 

ply  of  rations  and  ammunition,  as  well  as  reinforcement  of 
fresh  troops,  the  siege  of  Washington,  which  had  lasted  for 
sixteen  days,  was  raised,  and  on  the  16th  our  troops  retired  to 

The  Federal  commander,  General  Foster,  in  his  official 
report,  states  that  the  ''Escort,"  which  succeeded  in  running 
the  gauntlet  of  our  batteries,  was  struck  forty  times  by  the 
guns  at  Hill's  and  Rodman's  points,  and  that  the  pilot  was 
killed  by  a  rifle  shot. 

On  1  May  the  brigade  Avas  ordered  to  Kinston,  and  on  the 
7th  moved  down  near  Core  creek,  on  the  Atlantic  &  ISTorth 
Carolina  Railroad,  and  tore  up  several  miles  of  the  railroad 
track.  Together  with  Colonel  Xethercutt's  Battalion,  we 
made  repeated  incursions  into  the  enemy's  territory  around 
New  Bern,  capturing  a  number  of  their  pickets  and  scouts. 

On  17  June  the  brigade  was  again  ordered  to  Virginia, 
and  we  reached  the  depot  about  midnight;  but  before  we  were 
all  aboard  our  train  an  order  was  received  for  the  Fiftieth 
to  return  to  their  camp,  and  thus  for  the  second  time  we  were 
separated  from  our  brigade,  which  we  never  rejoined. 

On  21  June  we  were  ordered  to  Greenville  and  attached  to 
Martin's  Brigade.  We  were  engaged  in  constructing  forti- 
fications around  the  town  and  occasionally  raiding  the  en- 
emy's territory  around  Washington  until  3  July,  when  we 
returned  to  Kinston. 

pottery's  raid. 

On  19  July,  1863,  we  received  orders  to  intercept  General 
Potter,  who  was  raiding  the  eastern  counties  from  Kew  Bern 
to  Rocky  Mount.  This  expedition,  composed  chiefly  of  the 
Third  ISTew  York  Cavalry  and  "J^orth  Carolina  Union 
Troops,"  mostly  negroes,  left  J^ew  Bern  on  18  July  and 
reached  Street's  Ferry  on  their  return  22  July.  They  burned 
the  bridges  at  Greenville,  Tarboro,  Rocky  Mount;  also  the 
railroad  bridge  and  trestle  at  this  place,  the  Battle  cotton 
factory,  machine  shops,  engines  and  cars,  store-houses,  flour 
mills,  a  Confederate  iron-clad  gunboat,  with  two  other  steam- 
boats, all  provisions  they  could  find,  and  eight  hundred  bales 
of  cotton.      Some  of  the  above  might  be  excused  as  being 

174  North  Carolina  Troops.   1S<!1-'G5. 

le^-itiinat(>  in  tinio  of  war,  but  the  conduct  generally  through 
the  country  traversed  was  wholly  inexcusable,  cowardly,  and 
infamous  in  the  extreme.  Where  they  visited  plantations 
they  ordei-ed  the  negroes  to  take  the  horses,  wagons,  buggies 
and  carriages  and  plunder  their  owner's  houses,  taking  what- 
ever they  wished  and  join  the  procession.  General  Potter, 
in  his  otHcial  report,  states  that  some  three  hundred  of  these 
negroes  reached  New  Bern  with  him.  Tliis  is  a  very  small 
proportion  of  the  number  we  intercepted  and  captured  at  the 
"Burney  Place,"  where  Potter  succeeded  in  flanking  us  and 
making  his  escape.  Our  object  was  to  get  between  Potter 
and  ISTew  Bern,  cut  off  his  retreat  if  possible,  or  at  least 
harass  and  delay  his  return  until  reinforcements  might  reach 
us  by  way  of  Kinston  and  effec^t  his  capture.  Unfortunately 
we  had  no  cavalry  except  a  small  detachment  of  Colonel  Ken- 
nedy's men.  Colonel  Faison,  with  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Car- 
olina Regiment,  had  been  left  to  guard  and  hold  Coward's 
bridge.  This  left  only  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  and  a  portion 
of  Colonel  Whitford's  Battalion  to  operate.  The  difficulty 
of  conteiuling  with  the  movements  of  cavalry  in  an  open  coun- 
try can  be  fully  appreciated,  especially  as  they  kept  con- 
stantly on  the  move  all  night.  By  destroying  all  the  bridges 
and  by  rapid  movement,  without  rest,  sleep  or  anything  to 
eat,  we  held  them  on  the  upper  side  of  the  creek  for  two  days 
and  nights.  After  maneuvering  all  night  of  the  21st,  cross- 
ing plantations  and  traveling  unused  country  paths,  they  suc- 
ceeded in  escaping  wdth  the  head  of  their  column  about 
daybreak  on  the  morning  of  the  2 2d.  We  succeeded,  how- 
ever, in  reaching  the  point  in  time  to  intercept  the  rear  of  the 
colunm  consisting  mostly  of  negroes,  traveling  in  every  con- 
ceivable style.  General  Potter,  in  his  haste  to  escape,  with 
his  troops,  abandoned  his  "contrabands,"  as  he  calls  them,  to 
their  fate. 

On  reaching  the  "Buraey  Place"  we  opened  fire  on  the 
colunm  with  a  small  brass  cannon  mounted  on  a  saddle 
strapped  to  the  back  of  a  mule.  This  utterly  demoralized  the 
"contrabands"  who,  in  their  mad  rush  to  keep  pace  with  their 
erstwhile  deliverers,  but  who  were  now  fleeing  for  their  lives, 
failed  to  discover  us.      The  shock  was  so  sudden  and  unex- 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  175 

pected  that  the  effect  was  indescribable.  The  great  caval- 
cade, composed  of  men,  women  and  children,  perched  on 
wagons,  carts,  buggies,  carriages,  and  monnted  on  horses  and 
mnles,  whipping,  slashing  and  yelling  like  wild  Indians,  was 
suddenly  halted  by  our  fire  upon  the  bridge.  This  fire  Avas 
upon  some  negro  troops  who  were  in  the  rear  of  Potter's 
column.  One  negro  ( 'aptain,  who  was  driving  a  pair  of  spir- 
ited iron-gray  horses,  attempted  to  rush  past  three  of  our  men 
who  were  lying  in  the  yard  and  was  shot  dead  as  he  stood  up 
in  the  l)uggy  firing  at  them  as  he  drove  past.  Many  others 
were  either  killed  or  wounded  in  attempting  to  escape  through 
the  woods  near  by.  In  the  excitement  and  confusion  which 
ensued  many  of  the  vehicles  were  upset  in  attempting  tO'  turn 
around  in  the  road  and  many  others  wrecked  by  the  fright- 
ened horses  dashing  through  the  woods.  We  scoured  the 
woods  and  gathered  up  several  hundred  negroes  among  the 
number  several  infants  and  a  number  of  .small  children  who 
had  been  abandoned  to  their  fate.  About  8  o'clock  we  started 
in  pursuit  of  Potter.  For  miles  the  road  and  woods  on  either 
side  were  strewn  with  all  kinds  of  wearing  apparel,  table 
ware,  such  as  fine  china  and  silver  ware,  blankets,  fine  bed 
quilts  and  all  sorts  of  ladies'  wearing  apparel  which  had  been 
taken  from  the  helpless,  unprotected  women  at  the  planta- 
tions visited  by  the  negroes,  under  General  Potter's  orders. 
The  reason  these  things  were  strewn  indiscriminately  along 
the  road  was  that  the  few  men  of  Colonel  Kennedy's  Cavalry 
and  such  as  we  were  able  to  mount  from  time  to  time  with 
the  abandoned  horses,  kept  up  a  running  fight  with  the  rear 
of  the  retreating  column  from  the  ''Burney  Place"  to  Street's 
Ferry,  causing  many  of  the  spirited  carriage  horses  to  be- 
come unmanageable  and  take  to  the  woods,  wrecking  the  vehi- 
cles and  scattering  their  contents.  I  saw  a  number  of  in- 
stances where  the  carriages  had  been  upset  and  the  throats  of 
the  horses  cut  to  prevent  their  falling  into  our  hands.  The 
Fiftieth  Peginient,  with  the  exception  of  tlie  few  who  had 
been  mounted,  performed  the  extraordinary  feat  of  marching 
forty-eight  miles  on  this,  22  day  of  July,  1863,  reaching 
Street's  Ferry  about  two  hours  in  the  night,  and  this  after 
having  been  in  line  or  on  the  march  continuously  for  two  days 

176  North  Carolina  Troops,    1801 -'65. 

and  nights  without  rest,  sleep  or  rations.  When  we  reached 
tlie  ferry  tliat  niglit  there  was  perhaps  not  more  than  one- 
foui-tli  of  our  men  in  line.  The  writer  had  charge  of  the 
remnants  of  four  companies,  hut  after  a  rest  of  about  two 
hours  nearly  every  man  and  officer  was  in  his  place.  About 
midnight  some  citizens  of  that  section  came  into  our  camp 
and  reported  that  General  Potter  had  communicated  with 
ISTew  Bern  and  that  a  nund)er  of  transports  had  reached  the 
Ferry  with  lieavy  reinforcements,  and  that  we  were  in  very 
great  danger  of  being  captured.  Acting  upon  the  supposi- 
tion tliat  tliis  report  was  true,  we  left  our  campfires  brightly 
burning,  aiu]  retiring  in  midnight  darkness,  marched  the  bal- 
ance of  the  night,  in  the  direction  of  Kinston,  thus  adding 
this  to  our  previous  record  of  forty-eight  miles,  all  within 
twenty-four  hours.  We  afterward  learned  that  we  had  been 
deceived  by  "Buffaloes,"  and  that  the  transports  from  New 
Bern  did  not  reach  Str(;et's  Ferry  until  late  in  the  afternoon 
of  the  next  day.  Thus  ended  the  "Potter  Raid,"  one  of  the 
most  infamous  affairs  that  stain  the  record  of  our  Civil  War, 
and  one  which,  I  believe,  has  made  every  true  soldier,  who 
was  forced  to  take  part  in  it,  blush  with  shame. 

On  9  August  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  Wilmington,  and 
first  went  into  camp  at  Virginia  Creek  and  afterward  at  vari- 
ous places  along  the  sound  from  there  to  Fort  Fisher.  On 
reaching  camp  on  Topsail  Sound,  commissary  supplies  were 
brought  down  from  Wilmington  late  at  night,  and  rations 
were  issued  to  the  entire  regiment  early  the  next  morning. 
All  cooked  and  ate  breakfast  about  the  same  time,  and  the  en- 
tire regiment,  men  and  officers,  were  poisoned  by  eating  flour 
which  had  been  poisoned  and  sent  through  the  blockade.  JSTo 
deaths  resulted  directly,  but  the  serious  effects  were  felt  for 
a  long  time  and  much  sickness  resulted.  This  was  the  sec- 
ond occurrence  of  the  kind  at  Wilmington.  We  remained  in 
and  around  Wilmington  until  the  spring  of  1864,  engaged  in 
constiiicting  fortifications,  doing  picket  duty  along  the  coast, 
and  provost  duty  in  the  city.  ISTothing  except  an  occasional 
shelling  from  some  of  the  enemy's  guns  and  watching  our 
steamers  successfully,  and  with  a  regularity  almost  equal  to 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  177 

an  up-to-date  railroad  schedule,  run  the  so-called  blockades, 
served  to  break  the  monotony  of  our  every-day  life. 

On  28  April,  1864,  we  received  orders  to  proceed  to  Tar- 
boro.  On  30  April,  started  on  the  march  to  Plymouth.  The 
town  had,  after  two  days  of  desperate  lighting  by  the  Con- 
federate infantry,  led  l)y  the  gallant  Hoke,  assisted  by  Cap- 
tain Cooke,  with  the  iron-clad  boat  "Albemarle,"  surrendered 
to  the  commander  of  the  Confederate  forces  on  20  April. 

A  part  of  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  was  stationed  at  Plymouth 
as  a  garrison  for  that  place  and  the  other  part  was  sent  to  the 
town  of  Washington  in  charge  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Van 
Hook  for  similar  duty.  The  chief  occupation  of  the  regi- 
ment from  this  time  to  the  latter  part  of  October  following, 
was  raiding  the  eastern  counties  lying  along  the  coast  from 
ISTew  Bern  to  the  Virginia  line  for  the  purpose  of  collecting 
and  bringing  out  provisions  from  these  productive  counties 
for  the  use  of  our  army  in  Virginia.  This  work  was  done 
by  small  detachments  usually  in  charge  of  a  Captain  or  a 
Lieutenant,  but  in  many  instances  in  charge  only  of  a  non- 
commissioned officer.  The  enemy  being  constantly  on  the 
lookout  for  these  raiding  parties,  frequent  encounters  re- 
sulted. Recounting  the  many  thrilling  adventures  covering 
this  period,  a  whole  volume  might  be  written  as  a  well-earned 
tribute  to  the  private  soldier,  as  many  of  the  daring  deeds 
were  accomplished  by  them  without  the  aid  or  direction  of  an 
officer.  Many  prisoners  and  miich  valuable  propeiiy  were 
brought  in  by  these  small  detachments,  and  a  remarkable  fact 
is  that  they  rarely  ever  lost  a  man.  On  one  occasion  a  small 
party  were  scouting  in  the  vicinity  of  Coinjock,  where  there 
was  a  ''lock"  on  the  Albemarle  and  Chesapeake  Canal,  and 
noticing  the  manner  of  passing  boats  through  this  "lock," 
concluded  that  it  afforded  a  splendid  opportunity  to  capture 
one.  On  returning  to  camp  they  reported  to  their  officers  the 
result  of  their  observations  and  conclusions,  and  asked  per- 
mission to  make  the  attempt  to  carrj'  them  into  effect.  The 
officers  seeming  unwilling  to  assume  the  responsibility,  they 
then  asked  for  the  assurance  that  they  did  not  object  to  their 
assuming  all  the  responsibility  and  undertaking  the  job. 
.     12 

178  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

Having  received  this,  they  at  once  commenced  to  make  the 
necessary  preparation.  Being  their  week  "off  duty"  they 
at  once  proceeded  to  the  place,  and  having  detailed  their  plans 
to  the  "lock-keeper"  and  secured  his  co-operation,  they  con- 
cealed themselves  near  by  and  awaited  the  arrival  of  the  Gov- 
ernment mail  boat,  plying  betAveen  Norfolk  and  New  Bern. 
The  machinery  for  operating  the  "lock"  very  opportunely 
refused  to  work  and  the  boat  was  unable  to  move  in  either 
direction,  being  fast  upon  the  bottom.  The  squad  made  a 
sudden  dash,  and  after  firing  a  few  shots  the  Captain  surren- 
dered his  boat.  They  secured  the  United  States  mail  pouches 
and  such  other  valuables  as  they  could  carry,  and  then  re- 
leased the  boat  with  all  on  board  except  General  Wessells, 
who  had  shortly  before  surrendered  Plymouth  to  General 
Hoke,  and  who  had  been  paroled  and  was  on  his  way  to  be  ex- 
changed. He  protested  against  his  arrest  and  detention,  but 
without  avail,  as  the  boys  marched  him  back  to  Plymouth,  the 
scene  of  his  recent  misfortune  and  humiliation.  On  another 
occasion  a  small  party  secured  a  boat,  and  crossing  the  sound, 
readied  Roanoke  Island  at  night  and  proceeded  to  the  light 
house,  and  after  destroying  the  light,  took  the  keeper  and  his 
wife  prisoners.  Hundreds  of  such  deeds  of  daring  and  ad- 
venture might  be  recorded,  but  this  sketch  must  necessarily 
be  brief. 

23  October  the  regiment  was  relieved  and  ordered  to  Tar- 
boro,  and  on  the  night  of  27  October  Lieutenant  Gushing,  of 
the  United  States  Navy,  made  his  way  up  the  river  in  a  small 
steam  launch,  passed  the  pickets  stationed  on  the  wreck  of 
the  "Southfield,"  which  was  sunk  by  the  Albemarle  in  the  en- 
gagement of  19  and  20  April,  and  making  a  sudden  dash  at 
the  Albemarle,  exploded  a  torpedo  under  her  bottom,  which 
caused  her  to  sink  at  once,  thus  nuiking  it  possible  for  the  en- 
emy to  recapture  Plymouth,  which  they  did  on  31  October. 
This  feat  of  Lieutenant  Cusliing  was  one  of  the  most  daring 
and  desperate  on  record,  but  one  which  might  easily  have 
been  prevented  if  our  pickets  had  been  as  watchful  as  they 
should  have  been.  Several  attempts  had  been  made  by  this 
same  officer  to  pass  our  pickets  on  the  river  while  the  Fifti- 
eth Regiment  was  in  charge,  but  always  failed,  and  several 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  179 

of  his  men  were  killed  and  captured  in  these  attempts.  The 
Fiftieth  Regiment  would  have  remained  at  Plymouth  but  for 
the  urgent  appeal  made  by  General  Lee  to  Governor  Vance 
and  General  Holmes  to  garrison  Plymouth  and  Washington 
with  North  Carolina  Reserves,  and  send  the  Fiftieth  back  to 
Virginia.  But  for  this  change  it  is  almost  certain  that  Ply- 
mouth would  not  have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy  at 
the  time  and  under  the  circumstances  it  did,  thus  cutting  off 
the  chief  source  of  supplies  for  our  anny  in  Virginia. 
After  the  baggage  had  been  loaded,  and  just  as  the  regiment 
was  ready  to  go  in  the  cars,  the  news  of  the  fall  of  Plymouth 
was  received,  order  countermanded,  and  the  regiment  was, 
for  the  third  time,  prevented  from  returning  to  Virginia. 
We  remained  at  Tarboro  and  Williamston  for  one  month. 

24  jSTovember  the  Regiment  was  ordered  to  Augusta,  Ga., 
reaching  that  place  on  the  27th,  and  on  the  29th  was  ordered 
to  Savannah.  On  reaching  Charleston  the  next  day  a  spe- 
cial train  was  in  waiting,  General  Hardee  having  telegraphed 
General  Beauregard  from  Savannah  to  rush  the  regiment 
with  all  possible  haste  to  Grahamville  to  meet  General  Fos- 
ter, who  was  moving  on  the  Charleston  &  Savannah  Railroad 
near  that  point  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  the  long  trestle 
and  thus  cut  off  all  communication  with  Savannah. 

On  the  night  of  29  November,  General  G.  W.  Smith 
reached  Savannah  with  a  brigade  of  less  than  one  thousand 
Georgia  militia.  At  this  time  there  were  no  other  troops  in 
Savannah,  General  Hardee  had  received  information  that 
General  Foster  was  moving  in  force  on  the  Charleston  &  Sa- 
vannah Railroad  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  the  long  tres- 
tle near  Grahamville  and  thus  cut  off  the  only  means  of 
transporting  troops  and  supplies  to  Savannah.  General 
Smith's  militia  were  the  only  troops  that  could  possibly  reach 
the  scene  in  time  to  check  this  advance  and  save  the  road, 
and  he  had  received  positive  instructions  from  the  Governor 
of  Georgia  not  to  carry  the  militia  beyond  the  State  line.  He 
and  General  Hardee  hurriedly  discussed  the  situation  in  all 
its  bearings,  and  the  conclusion  was  reached  that  the  condi- 
dition  and  circumstances  justified  disobeying  the  orders  of 

180  North  Carolina  Trooi's.   18G1-'05. 

the  Governor,  and  the  train  which  contained  the  troops  was 
shifted  to  the  Charleston  &  Savannah  road,  reaching  Ilardee- 
ville  at  daybreak  30  November.  They  at  once  proceeded  to 
Honey  Hill,  and  passing  a  short  distance  beyond,  discovered 
that  the  enemy  in  force  had  already  reached  and  occupied  the 
position  which  had  been  chosen  by  the  Confederat-e  com- 
mander prior  to  the  arrival  of  the  troops.  This  forced  Gen- 
eral Smith  to  fall  back  and  occupy  a  less  desirable  position. 
About  8  :30  a.  m.  the  enemy  commenced  his  advance  on  this 
position  and  was  greeted  by  a  single  shot  from  the  only  gun 
in  position.  Thus  opened  one  of  the  most  remarkable  battles, 
in  many  respects,  that  was  fought  during  the  Civil  War.  The 
fighting  was  fierce  and  furious  throughout  the  entire  day,  and 
ended  only  when  the  darkness  of  night  made  it  possible  for 
the  enemy  to  retreat  unobserved.  Charge  after  charge  during 
the  first  part  of  the  day  was  repelled  by  this  small  band  of 
Georgia  militia,  supported  only  by  a  South  Carolina  battery 
of  five  light  field  pieces.  During  the  morning  the  Forty- 
seventh  Georgia  Regiment  arrived,  but  was  held  in  reserve 
until  ordered  into  action  to  check  a  flank  movement  of  the 
enemy.  The  Thirty-second  Georgia  and  Fiftieth  North  Car- 
olina, sent  from  Charleston,  reached  the  field  too  late  to  par- 
ticipate. The  Confederate  forces  present  and  engaged  con- 
sisted of  the  Georgia  Militia  (Senior  and  Junior  Reserves), 
1,000  strong,  the  Forty-seventh  Georgia  Regiment,  and  the 
South  Carolina  Battery,  commanded  by  Colonel  Gonzales, 
making  a  total  of  1,400  in  all. 

The  Federal  forces  engaged  consisted  of  the  Fifty-sixth, 
One  Hundred  and  Twenty-seventh,  One  Hundred  and  Forty- 
fourth,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-seventh  New  York  Regi- 
ments; Forty-fourth  Massachusetts  (colored),  and  Fifty-fifth 
Massachusetts ;  Twenty-fifth  Ohio ;  Twenty-sixth,  Thirty-sec- 
ond, Thirty-fifth,  One  Hundred  and  Second  United  States 
Colored  Regiments ;  a  brigade^  of  Marines,  a  number  of  field 
batteries  and  several  naval  guns  brought  up  from  the  gun- 
boats in  the  river  near  by. 

The  losses,  as  taken  from  the  official  reports,  are  as  follows; 

Confederate:     Killed,  8;  \vounded,  42;  total,  50. 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  181 

Federals:  Killed,  88;  wounded,  623;  missing,  43;  total, 

The  Fifty-fifth  Massachusetts  reports  the  loss  of  its  Colonel 
and  100  men  in  five  minutes,  and  the  Fifty-fourth  Massachu- 
setts (colored),  reports  carrying  150  wounded  from  the  field. 

Considering  all  the  circumstances,  the  character  of  the 
troops  engaged,  disparity  in  numbers,  this  fight  perhaps  has 
jio  parallel  in  history. 


On  2  Deeember  the  regiment  reached  Savannah,  and  on 
the  3d  was  ordered  to  the  Forty-five  Mile  Station  on  the  Geor- 
gia Central  Railroad.  The  other  troops  were  ordered  back 
to  the  entrenchment  at  Savannah,  leaving  the  Fiftieth  Regi- 
ment and  a  small  squadron  of  Wheeler's  Cavalry  alone  to 
meet  and  contend  with  Slierman's  column  which  was  moving 
down  the  Georgia  Central  Railroad.  The  instructions  were 
to  harrass  and  delay  the  column  so  as  to  gain  time  to 
strengthen  our  fortifications  around  the  city  as  much  as  pos- 
sible. On  the  7th  we  commenced  to  skirmish  with  the  van- 
guard, and  on  the  9th,  having  fallen  back  some  distance  to 
a  strong  position,  the  skirmishing  became  general  and  very 
heavy.  The  main  body  of  the  regiment  had  fortified  a  natur- 
ally strong  position  on  the  right  of  the  road,  and  Lieut.  Jesse 
T.  Ellington,  of  Company  C,  was  sent  with  a  strong  skiraiish 
line  to  an  open  savanna  on  the  left  to  protect  that  flank.  The 
advance  of  the  enemy  was  checked  and  the  firing  soon  became 
extremely  heavy  at  the  point  occupied  by  the  regiment,  but 
they  stubbornly  resisted  the  repeated  attacks  and  held  their 
position.  After  awhile  there  was  a  sudden  lull  in  the  firing  on 
that  side  of  the  road  which  attracted  Lieutenant  Ellington's 
attention,  and  seeking  a  point  where  he  could  get  a  view  of 
the  breastworks  discovered  that  they  were  occupied  by  the  en- 
emy in  force.  They  had  succeeded  in  flanking  the  position 
on  the  right,  and  thus  forcing  the  regiment  to  hastily  retire 
across  a  bridge  which  was  held  by  some  of  Wheeler's  men  for 
this  purpose.  Lieutenant  Ellington  had  been  instructed  to 
hold  his  position  until  he  received  orders  to  withdraw,  and 
now  found  himself  entirely  cut  off,  the  enemy  considerably  to 

182  North  Carolina  Troops,   18f)l-'65. 

the  rear  of  his  position  and  a  strong  skirmish  line  deployed 
immediately  in  rear  of  his  own  line.  He  quietly  faced  his 
men  about  and  commenced  to  move  forward  in  regular  order, 
and  passing  along  the  line  whispered  instructions  to  each 
man,  Noticing  a  dense  swamp  some  distance  in  front  and  to 
the  right  of  the  line  of  march,  he  had  instructed  the  men  to 
watch  him  and  as  they  neared  the  swamp,  at  a  given  signal 
from  him,  to  stoop  as  low  as  possible  and  run  for  the  SAvamp. 
They  had  been  moving  all  the  while  between  the  skirmish 
lines,  the  original  one  which  was  now  in  their  rear  and  the 
new  one  which  was  thrown  out  after  capturing  our  works, 
which  was  now  in  front.  When  they  reached  what  seemed 
the  most  favorable  position,  the  signal  was  given  and  prompt- 
ly obeyed  by  every  man.  As  they  made  the  break  it  was  dis- 
covered for  the  first  time  that  they  were  Confederates,  and 
fired  upon.  Three  of  his  men  were  shot  dead,  but  all  of  the 
others,  though  fired  at  repeatedly,  succeeded  in  reaching  the 
swamp,  which  was  quickly  surrounded,  but  not  a  single  one 
was  captured.  During  the  night  they  quietly  left  the  swamp 
and  attempted  to  make  their  way  tlirough  the  lines.  As  the 
night  was  dark  they  were  guided  in  their  course  by  the  guna 
at  Fort  McAllister,  but  after  swimming  the  Ogeechee  river 
and  proceeding  for  some  distance,  the  firing  at  the  fort  ceased 
and  about  the  same  time  a  battery  of  heavy  guns  opened  in  an 
entirely  different  direction,  causing  them  to  lose  their  course. 
This  brought  them  again  to  the  Ogeechee  river,  which  they 
recrossed  and  after  travelling  all  night,  found  themselves  at 
daybreak  next  morning  on  the  same  ground  they  had  left  the 
evening  before,  and  again  in  the  rear  of  the  enemy.  They 
could  make  but  little  headway  during  the  day  but,  the  fol- 
lowing night  brought  them  near  the  linos  of  the  two  contend* 
ing  armies,  which  were  now  facing  each  otlier  around  and 
near  the  city.  It  was  now  daylight  and  the  fighting  was  in 
progress  all  aloug  the  lines  which,  at  this  point,  were  only  a 
short  distance  apart.  Discovering  a  short  and  \uioccupied 
space  in  the  Federal  line,  they  made  a  sudden  dash,  at  the 
same  time  signaling  to  our  troops  not  to  fire.  They  were  dis- 
covered aud  drew  the  combined  fire  froiu  the  right  and  left  of 
the  enemy's  line,  but  reached  our  line  safely. 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  183 

On  10  December,  Sherman  commenced  the  investment  of 
the  citj  of  Savannah,  and  on  the  13th  the  small  garrison  at 
Fort  McAllister  were  forced  to  surrender.  The  enemy  now 
controlled  the  river  above  and  below,  and  the  last  means  of 
escape  for  Hardee's  army  had  been  cut  off.  General  Sher- 
man sent  in  a  flag  of  truce  and  demanded  an  unconditional 
surrender  of  the  city.  The  reply  of  General  Hardee,  charac- 
teristic of  the  man  and  soldier,  was :  "I  have  plenty  of  guns, 
and  men  enough  to-  man  them,  and  if  you  ever  take  Savan- 
nah you  will  take  it  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet."  This  was 
"bluff"  in  all  of  its  perfection,  as  we  then  had  not  exceeding 
5,000  regular  troops  all  told,  and  were  trying  to  gain  time, 
hoping  almost  against  hope,  that  some  means  of  escape  might 
be  provided.  The  fighting  continued  day  and  night  all  alon^ 
our  lines,  but  no  general  assault  was  ever  made.  The  fall  of 
Fort  McAllister  enabled  the  Federal  fleet  to  enter  the  river 
and  thus  establish  Sherman's  communication  with  the  outside 
world.  While  Sherman  was  hesitating  and  wasting  time 
over  at  Hilton  Head  aiTanging  with  General  Foster  for  re- 
inforcements of  men  and  heavy  guns  with  which  to  contend 
with  our  little  army  of  about  5,000,  while  he  already  had 
more  than  ten  to  one,  we  were  keeping  up  the  fight  all  along 
the  line  and  at  the  same  time  kept  a  detail  working  night  and 
day  constructing  a  pontoon  bridge  across  the  river.  This 
was  accomplished  by  collecting  such  small  flat  boats  as  could 
be  found  along  the  river  and  arranging  them  in  line,  using 
car  wheels  as  anchors.  The  heavy  timbers  about  the  wharf 
were  utilized  as  stringers  from  one  boat  to  another,  and  then 
using  planks  from  buildings,  which  were  torn  down  for  the 
purpose,  as  a  flooring,  by  laying  them  across  these. 

The  boats,  being  of  various  sizes  and  shapes  and  of  une- 
qual supporting  power,  made  a  very  uneven  surface,  and  the 
flooring  being  of  a  variety  of  lengths  and  thickness,  still  fur- 
ther increased  a  tendency  to  slide  to  the  low  places  and  other- 
wise get  out  of  place,  especially  as  it  was  entirely  unsecured. 
In  addition  to  the  pontoon  bridge,  it  was  necessary  to  con- 
struct a  long  stretch  of  roadway  across  an  impassable  swamp 
and  bog  between  the  river  and  roads  traversing  the  rice  farms. 
This  was  done  effectuallv  bv  the  liberal  vise  of  rice  straw  and 

184  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

sheaf  rice  wliieh  was  secured  in  a])undance  at  a  near  by  rice 

Extract  from  a  commimication  of  General  Sherman  to 
Geneneral  Grant  16  December: 

''I  think  Hardee,  in  Savannah,  has  good  artillerists,  some 
5,000  or  6,000  infantry,  and  it  may  be  a  mongrel  mass  of 
8,000  to  10,000  militia  and  fragments." 

Extract  from  General  Hardee's  reply  to  General  Sherman's 
demand  for  the  "unconditional  surrender  of  the  city"  on  17 
December : 

"Your  demand  for  tlie  surrender  of  Savannah  and  its  der 
pendent  forts  is  refused.  With  respect  to  the  threats  con- 
veyed in  the  closing  paragraph  of  your  letter,  of  what  may 
be  expected  in  case  your  demand  is  not  complied  with,  I  have 
to  say  that  T  have  hitherto  conducted  the  military  operation 
intrusted  to  my  direction  in  strict  accordance  with  the  rules 
of  civilized  warfare,  and  I  should  deeply  regret  the  adoption 
of  any  course  by  you  that  may  force  me  to  deviate  from  them 
in  future." 

Extract  from  connnunication  of  General  Sherman  to  Gen- 
eral Grant  18  December: 

"'I  ^^■rote  yo\i  at  length  by  Colonel  Babcock  on  the  16th  in- 
stant. As  I  therein  explained  my  purpose,  yesterday  I  made 
demand  on  General  Hardee  for  the  surrender  of  the  city  of 
Savannali,  and  to-day  received  his  answer  refusing.  *  *  * 
I  should  like  very  much  indeed  to  take  Savannah  before 
coming  to  you;  but,  as  T  wrote  you  before,  T  will  do  nothing 
rash  or  hasty,  and  will  embark  for  the  James  river  as  soon  as 
General  Easton,  wlio  has  gone  to  Port  Royal  for  that  purpose, 
reports  to  me  that  ho  lias  an  a])propriate  number  of  vessels 
for  the  transportation  of  the  contemplated  force.  *  *  * 
I  do  sincerely  believe  tliat  the  whole  United  States,  North 
and  South,  Wdiild  rejoice  to  have  this  army  turned  loose  on 
Soutli  Carolina  to  devastate  tliat  State,  in  the  manner  we  have 
done  Georgia." 

On  lU  l)ecemi)er.  General  McLaws,  in  whose  division  the 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  185 

Piftieth  North  Carolina  Regiment  belonged,  received  the  fol- 
loAving  coinniunication  from  General  Hardee : 

^'General  : — Lieutenant-General  Hardee  directs  me  to 
sav  that  the  pontoon  is  completed,  and  he  desires  that  you 
will  see  that  your  wagons  containing  cooking  utensils  and 
baggage  are  sent  over  and  on  to  Hardeeville  at  daylight  in  the 
morning.  Respectfully,  General, 

"Your  obedient  servant, 

''D.  H.  Pool, 
"Assistant  Adjutant  General." 

About  10  o'clock  on  the  night  of  19  December,  the  writer 
received  instruction  to  report  at  once  to  General  McLaws  at 
his  headquarters  at  the  Telfair  House.  On  reaching  there  I 
was  informed  that  all  arrangements  had  been  made  for  the 
"withdraAval  of  our  troops  from  the  lines  during  the  night,  and 
received  instructions  to  report  promptly  at  12  o'clock  to  take 
charge  of  the  wagon  train  of  our  command,  proceed  at  once 
to  the  city,  break  open  the  cars  in  which  our  baggage  was 
stored  and  secure  all  important  papers,  etc.,  but  not  at- 
tempt to  carry  out  any  private  baggage.  Shortly  after  day 
of  the  30th,  this  work  had  been  accomplished  and  we  com- 
menced to  cross  the  bridge.  As  we  were  the  first  to  cross  we 
succeeded  without  accident  or  the  loss  of  a  single  team,  but 
the  other  commands  did  not  fare  so  well.  The  loose  planks 
forming  the  floor  were  constantly  slipping  down  to  the  low 
places,  causing  great  gaps  in  the  floor,  at  which  the  mules 
would  take  fright  and  shying  to  either  side,  would  get  on 
to  the  projecting  planks  and  topple  over  into  the  river.  Sev- 
eral teams  were  lost  in  this  way.  xVfter  we  crossed  the 
swamp  and  struck  the  I'oad  across  the  rice  field  we  were  in 
full  view  of  the  enemy,  who  had  occupied  the  South  Carolina 
side  of  the  river  for  the  pui^Dose  of  cutting  off  our  only  line  of 
retreat.  General  Wheeler  had  been  instructed  by  General 
Hardee  to  keep  this  line  open  at  any  cost,  and  on  the  day  be- 
fore had  been  reinforced  with  troops  and  artillery  for  this 
purpose.  A  fierce  fight  was  raging  at  the  time  between  the 
two  contending  forces,  each  bent  on  the  possession  of  the  road, 
which  was  of  vital  importance  to  us.     We  had  a  splendid 

186  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

view  of  the  fight  as  we  were  passing  over  the  long  stretch  of 
level  and  perfectly  open  rice  field. 

We  reached  Tlardeeville  safely  that  evening,  but  spent  a 
restless  and  anxious  night.  Orders  had  been  issued  and  ar- 
rangements made  for  the  army  to  cross  the  pontoon  bridge 
early  on  the  morning  of  the  20th,  but  in  fact  it  did  not  cross 
until  twenty-four  hours  later.  After  the  wagon  trains  had 
crossed  over  and  the  troops  were  ready  to  commence  crossing, 
the  bridge  broke  loose  and  swung  down  the  river,  necessitating 
a  delay  of  a  day  and  night  before  it  could  be  replaced.  The 
army  crossed  over  safely  on  the  morning  of  21  December,  and 
reached  Hardeeville  that  day,  where  we  had  been  for  twenty- 
four  hours  without  hearing  a  word  in  explanation  of  the  cause 
of  the  delay. 

The  official  reports  of  20  December  showed  "the  effective 
strength  of  Sherman's  army"  to  be  60,598,  not  including  the 
strong  forces  of  General  Foster  at  Port  Royal,  Hilton  Head, 
and  Coosa whatchie  and  a  large  fleet  co-operating.  And  yet 
General  Hardee,  with  his  ''8,000  or  10,000  militia  and  frag- 
ments," as  General  Sherman  puts  it,  held  this  large  and  splen- 
didly equipped  army  and  fleet  at  bay  for  nearly  two  weeks 
and  withdrew  unmolested  and  was  well  into  South  Carolina 
before  it  was  even  discovered  that  he  had  abandoned  his  line 
several  miles  beyond  Savannah.  General  Sherman,  who  was 
still  at  Port  Poyal  arranging  with  General  Foster  for  more 
troops  and  guns,  did  not  reach  the  city  until  the  2 2d,  more 
than  twenty-four  hours  after  General  Hardee  had  safely 
withdrawn  his  entire  forces. 

On  26  December,  McLaw^s'  Division  left  Hardeeville  for 
Pocataligo,  and  on  the  march  was  compelled  to  diverge  from 
the  main  road  in  order  to  avoid  the  fire  from  the  batteries  and 
gunboats  near  Coosawhatehie,  as  they  had  complete  range 
of  the  road  at  this  point.  On  reaching  Pocataligo  the  Fif- 
tieth Regiment  occupied  the  extreme  advance  position  at  a 
small  stream  beyond  "Old  Pocataligo."  General  L.  S. 
Baker,  who  up  to  this  time  had  commanded  our  brigade,  was 
relieved  from  active  duty  on  account  of  intense  suffering 
caused  by  his  wounded  arm.  He  had  the  confidence,  love, 
and  esteem  of  e\'ery  officer  and  man  in  the  brigade,  as  did 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  187 

also  the  young  men  of  his  staff.  The  leave-taking  was  sad 
and  affecting  as  they  bid  a  final  adieu  to  officers  and  privates 
alike.  From  this  time  the  brigade  was  commanded  by  Col- 
onel Washington  M.  Hardy. 

On  the  second  day  after  reaching  Pocataligo  the  writer, 
who  was  on  duty  on  the  advanced  picket  line,  received  a  re- 
quest from  Colonel  Hardy  to  report  at  once  to  his  headquar- 
ters. On  arrival  he  was  informed  that  General  McLaws  had 
requested  that  he  select  and  send  to  him  for  instructions,  an 
officer  who  would  undertake  to  enter  General  Foster's  lines 
that  night  for  the  pui-pose  of  ascertaining  the  exact  location 
and  approximate  strength  of  his  forces.  After  explaining 
his  purposes  and  indicating  just  what  information  he  desired, 
his  final  instructions  were:  "Go  and  never  return  until  you 
can  make  this  report." 

1  selected  ten  men  from  my  own  company,  and  by  night 
had  completed  all  necessary  arrangements.  An  old  negro, 
who  had  spent  his  past  life  on  the  island  below  and  was  thor- 
oughly acquainted  with  the  country,  and  who  had  ''run  away 
from  the  Yankees,"  and  was  now  living  near  our  camp,  gave 
me  a  full  description  of  the  country  and  cheerfully  consented 
to  pilot  me  l^y  a  private  foot  path  leading  through  a  swamp  to 
the  peninsula  fonned  by  Tullifuiny  creek  and  Coosawhatchie 
river  upon  which  Gen.  Foster's  main  forces  were  camped.  The 
main  road  was  strongly  picketed  right  up  to  our  lines,  but  by 
taking  this  by-way  through  the  swamps  when  we  reached  the 
open  countiy  we  were  well  to  the  rear  of  the  pickets.  The 
old  negro  now  pleaded  piteously  to  be  allowed  to  return  to  his 
home  and  his  wife.  He  gave  me  an  honest  and  truthful  de- 
scription of  all  the  surroundings,  after  which  I  sent  a  man 
back  with  him  to  pass  him  througli  our  line.  The 
streams  were  full  of  gunboats  and  transports.  In  making 
a  circuit  of  the  camps  we  kept  close  to  the  water  so  as  to 
avoid  the  pickets.  We  spent  the  entire  night  in  making  the 
circuit,  counting  camp  fires,  locating  the  troops  and  vessels, 
and  returned  safely,  reaching  our  lines  at  daybreak  next 
morning.  I  made  a  full  report  to  the  commanding  officer, 
for  whicli  T  and  the  men  with  me  received  his  thanks. 

On  14  January,  1865,  a  sudden  and  undiscovered  move- 

188  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801 -'65. 

ment  of  the  enemy  from  the  island  below,  around  our  left 
flank,  came  very  near  cutting  off  the  only  line  of  retreat  of 
the  Fiftieth  Uegiment  and  Tenth  Battalion  at  "Old  Pocatal- 
igo."  There  was  considerable  confusion  and  excitement  for 
some  time,  as  the  enemy  seemed  to  confront  us  in  whatever 
direction  we  turned.  We  tinally  succeeded  in  finding  a  way 
out  and  by  keeping  up  a  running  fight  safely  crossed  the 
Salkehatchie  river  at  River's  Bridge.  During  the  next  few 
days  the  enemy  concentrated  a  heavy  force  along  the  opposite 
side  of  the  river  between  Biver's  and  Bnford's  bridges,  and 
made  repeated  attempts  to  tlirow  their  pontoon  bridge  across 
the  river  and  break  tlirough  McLaAvs'  line.  The  heavy  rains 
had  caused  the  river  to  overflow  and  the  low-lands  were 
flooded  for  miles  in  some  places.  This  made  it  very  difficult 
to  reach  a  point  from  which  the  movements  of  the  enemy  on 
the  opposite  side  could  be  observed.  Between  the  16th  and 
20th  we  had  been  forced  to  move  back  three  times  to  escape 
the  flood. 


On  20  January,  1865,  Company  I,  of  the  Fiftieth  Regi- 
ment, commanded  by  Captain  John  B.  Eaves,  was  ordered  to 
move  down  to  a  high  point  of  the  river  bank,  which  was  ascer- 
tained to  Ix^  not  under  water,  for  the  pui*pose  of  watching 
and  reporting  movements  of  the  enemy.  Captain  Eaves  re- 
ceived his  orders  from  Colonel  Hardy,  commanding  the 
North  Carolina  Brigade,  and  at  the  same  time  General  Mc- 
Laws  had  ordered  Colonel  Ficer,  Avitli  his  Georgia  Brigade, 
to  another  point  on  the  river  for  a  like  pui-pose.  The  river 
flats  were  heavily  timbered  and  all  under  water,  at  tlie  same 
time  a  dense  fog  prevailed.  As  a  consequence  of  these  con- 
ditions the  troops  lost  their  bearings  and  the  two  commands 
met  while  wading  in  water  waist  deep,  and  each  supposing 
the  other  to  be  the  enemy  who  had  succeeded  in  crossing  the 
river,  opened  fire.  The  fight  was  kept  up  for  about  two 
hours,  (^aptain  Eaves  reported  to  Colonel  Hardy,  asking 
for  reinforcements  and  a  fresh  supply  of  ammunition,  as  his 
was  nearly  exhausted.  Colonel  Ficer  was  reporting  to  Gen- 
eral ^fcLaws  and  asking  for  help ;  each  side  was  being  rein- 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  189 

forced  as  rapidly  as  possible.  Captain  Eaves  had  lost  sev- 
eral of  his  men,  and  Lient.  W.  M.  Corbitt  had  taken  one  of 
their  guns  and  was  leading  the  men  forward,  firing  from  be- 
hind trees  as  they  advanced.  With  his  gun  raised  in  the  act 
of  shooting  he  was  himself  shot  dead  by  one  of  Wheeler's 
men  who  happened  to  be  with  Colonel  Ficer  at  the  time. 
About  this  time  K.  J.  Carpenter  and  Gaither  Trout,  of  Cap- 
tain Eaves'  company,  had  approached  near  enough  to  dis- 
cover that  Colonel  Ficer's  men  were  Confederates,  and  be- 
fore the  reinforcements  called  for  had  reached  either  side, 
this  sad  and  distressing  affair  had  ended.  The  loss  in  Col- 
onel Ficer's  command  was  considerable.  When  our  dead 
and  wounded  were  brought  in  and  we  learned  the  facts  about 
this  terrible  mistake,  there  was  sadness  and  weeping.  The 
gallant  young  Corbitt  was  a  general  favorite  in  the  regiment, 
the  men  always  delighting  tO'  serve  under  him.  While  he 
was  quiet,  kind  and  tender  as  a  woman,  he  did  not  know  the 
meaning  of  the  word  fear  when  duty  called  him.  He  was 
brave,  perhaps,  it  may  be  too-  brave.  His  remains  were  sent 
to  his  heart-broken,  vridowed  mother  in  Rutherford  county. 
On  30  January  there  was  a  general  movement  up  the  river, 
and  on  the  night  of  1  February,  after  marching  until  mid- 
night, and  just  after  halting  and  building  campfires,  the  Fif- 
tieth Regiment  was  ordered  to  resume  the  march  and  proceed 
twelve  miles  further  up  the  river  tO'  Buford's  Bridge.  We 
reached  the  point  at  daybreak  of  the  2d  and  proceeded  at  once 
to  make  all  necessary  preparation  for  the  rapid  burning  of  the 
bridge  upon  the  first  approach  of  the  enemy,  having  been  in- 
structed to  guard  and  keep  it  open  as  long  as  possible  for  the 
benefit  of  refugees  from  the  opposite  side  of  the  river.  Early 
on  the  morning  of  the  3d  heavy  firing  was  heard  from  down 
the  river,  lasting  for  about  two  hours,  when  it  suddenly  and 
entirely  ceased.  We  concluded  that  the  enemy,  in  attempt- 
ing to  effect  the  crossing  on  their  pontoons,  had  been  driven 
back  and  that  they  would  now  attempt  to  cross  at  Buford's 
Bridge.  We  advanced  our  picket  lines  beyond  the  river  and 
anxiously  awaited  the  approach  of  the  enemy,  as  well  as  news 
from  our  troops  below.  The  entire  day  passed  and  we  neither 
saw  nor  heard  from  either.     Between  sunset  and   dark  a 

190  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

young  lad  came  riding  into  our  camp  with  tJie  news  that 
General  McLaws'  lines  had  been  broken  and  our  entire  forces 
driven  back  that  morning.  lie  stated  that  General  McLaws 
started  a  courier  with  the  information  that  we  were  entirely 
cut  off  from  tlie  command  and  to  take  care  of  ourselves  the 
best  we  could,  but  that  he  was  captured.  This  boy  made  his 
way  through  the  lines  and  found  us  at  this  late  hour.  He  was 
not  a  moment  too  soon,  for  as  we  hurriedly  marched  out  on 
one  side  of  the  little  village,  the  enemy's  cavalry  was  .enter- 
ing the  other  side.  We  were  favored  by  the  dark  night  and  a 
succession  of  ijnpassable  swamps  through  which  the  single 
road  had  been  constructed  which  made  it  possible,  with  a 
small  force  to  guard  the  passes  against  cavalry.  A  Lieutenant 
and  about  ten  men  belonging  to  General  Wheeler's  command 
were  with  us  doing  courier  and  picket  duty.  When  we  com- 
menced the  retreat  this  officer  told  us  to  keep  moving  and  he 
would  guarantee  to  hold  them  in  check  and  allow  us  to  escape 
during  the  night.  He  was  able  to  do  this  by  taking  advantage 
of  the  narrow  ridges  between  the  succession  of  swamps.  On. 
reaching  one  of  these  he  would  dismount  his  men,  and  when 
the  head  of  the  column  approached  in  the  road,  open  fire.  This 
would  check  their  movement,  as  the  character  of  the  country 
was  such  that  they  could  not  leave  the  road.  After  remain- 
ing as  long  as  he  deemed  it  safe  and  expedient,  he  would 
mount  his  men  and  select  another  stand.  The  gallant  young 
Tennesseean  faithfully  carried  out  his  pledge  to  us,  but  at  the 
cost  of  his  own  life,  for  at  a  late  hour  during  the  night,  he  was 
shot  dead  in  the  saddle  and  his  horse  overtook  us  on  the  road 
with  rider  lying  upon  his  neck  dead.  He  was  taken  off  and 
buried  beside  the  road  some  distance  from  where  he  received 
the  fatal  shot.  After  marching  all  night  and  the  next  day, 
we  struck  the  railroad  at  Bamburg.  We  found  the  station 
deserted,  but  the  telegraph  office  was  open  and  the  instru- 
ments in  place.  We  tried  the  wires  to  Charleston  and  found 
that  the  line  had  not  yet  been  cut.  General  Hardee  informed 
us  that  the  last  train  was  expected  over  the  road  that  night 
with  the  remnant  of  Hood's  army,  and  if  it  succeeded  in 
reaching  our  station,  to  take  possession  of  the  train  and  run 
through  to  Charleston  if  possible.     We  had  only  a  short  while 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  191 

to  wait,  but  instead  of  going  tlirough  to  Charleston,  on  reach- 
ing Branchville,  we  found  our  command,  McLaws'  division, 
camped  beside  the  railroad,  and  we  dismounted  and  were  once 
more  at  home,  much  to  their  surprise,  as  we  had  been  reported 
and  giv^en  up  as  lost. 

We  now  made  a  stand  and  fortified  our  position  on  the 
Edisto  river,  bat  as  usual  the  enemy,  with  his  overwhelming 
force  of  both  infantry  and  cavalry,  flanked  our  position,  forc- 
ing us  to  retire.  We  moved  by  way  of  Ridgeville,  and  on  the 
25th  the  Fiftieth  North  Carolina  Regiment  and  Tenth  North 
Carolina  Battalion,  under  Colonel  Hardy,  occupied  Florence, 
where  all  the  rolling  stock  of  the  railroad  south  had  been 
collected,  and  also  a  large  quantity  of  cotton  stored.  The 
other  portion  of  Hardee's  army  was  now  concentrated  at 
Cheraw.  Our  brigade  reached  this  place  on  3  March  as  it 
was  being  evacuated  by  General  Hardee,  and  just  in  time  to 
cross  the  river.  General  Sherman  writing  to  General  Gil- 
more  in  reference  to  the  destruction  of  the  vast  amount  of 
rolling  stock  between  Sumterville  and  Florence,  uses  the  fol- 
lowing language :  "I  don't  feel  disposed  to  be  over-generous, 
and  should  not  hesitate  to  burn  Charleston,  Savannah  and 
Wilmington,  or  either  of  them,  if  the  garrison  were  needed. 
Those  cars  and  locomotives  should  be  destroyed,  if  to  do  it 
costs  you  500  men." 

This  language,  coupled  with  that  used  in  his  letter  to  Gen- 
eral Grant,  written  from  Savannah  28  December,  1864,  in 
which  he  expresses  the  desire  "to  have  this  army  turned  loose 
on  the  State  of  South  Carolina  to  devastate  that  State  as  it 
has  the  State  of  Georgia,"  reveals  the  character  of  the  man, 
and  sufficiently  accounts  for  the  wanton  destruction  of  prop- 
erty, devastation  and  ruin  w^hich  followed  in  the  wake  of  his 

The  history  of  this  campaign,  which  ought  to  go  down  in 
history  as  a  disgrace  to  the  civilization  of  the  American  Na- 
tion, can  be  written  in  few  words.  The  record  of  each  day 
from  first  to^  last  was  but  the  repetition  of  the  day  before, 
when  we  could  look  back  and  see  the  homes  of  helpless  women 
and  children  ascending  in  smoke,  while  they  were  turned  out 
in  the  cold  of  mid-winter  to  starve  and  freeze.      Since  time 

192  North  Carolina  Troops,    18()1-'05. 

has  removed  iinich  of  the  bitterness  which  then  existed  be- 
tween tlie  two  sections,  General  Sherman's  friends  have  en- 
deavored to  defend  his  conduct  and  refute  the  charges  made 
at  the  time,  l)nt  the  fact  that  the  "record"  is  against  him  still 

On  the  part  of  the  troops  of  General  Hardee's  little  army, 
the  campaign  tlirough  Georgia  and  South  Carolina,  embrac- 
ing the  entire  winter  of  18G4-'65  was  a  severe  and  trying  one, 
but  there  was  no  co-mplaint  or  murmuring,  and  all  seemed  in 
the  best  of  spirits.  We  were  poorly  clothed,  and  lightly  fed, 
as  we  were  compelled  to  subsist  on  the  country  through  which 
we  passed,  and  this  was  poorly  supplied  except  with  rice, 
until  we  reached  the  high-lands.  Here  the  people  were  dis- 
posed to  share  the  last  mite  with  our  soldiers.  Whenever 
they  were  advised  of  our  coming  in  time,  the  good  women 
would  have  food  in  abundance  prepared,  and  they  would 
bring  out  large  trap's  as  we  were  passing,  speaking  words 
of  comfort  and  cheer  to  us  at  the  same  time.  Many  of  the 
men  were  entirely  without  shoes  during  January  and  Feb- 
ruary. This  was  owing  to  the  fact  that  we  were  com- 
pelled to  leave  our  baggage  and  supplies  at  Savannah  for  the 
lack  of  transportation,  and  we  had  been  so  situated  since  that 
none  could  reach  us. 

On  3  March,  1865,  we  crossed  the  State  line  at.Cheraw 
and  were  once  more  on  the  soil  of  our  native  State.  We 
looked  back  in  sadness  at  the  desolation  wrought  in  our  sister 
State,  and  our  hearts  were  ovei'flowing  with  sympathy  for 
the  thousands  of  now  homeless  ones  who  had  l)een  so  kind  and 
generous  to  us.  Now  we  must  look  forward  to  a  like  condi- 
tion which  was  in  store  for  our  own  people. 

General  Joseph  E.  Johnston,  on  6  March,  assumed  com- 
mand of  all  the  forces  in  North  Carolina.  It  was  thought 
that  General  Sherman  was  heading  for  Charlotte,  N.  C,  and 
General  Hardee  had  instructions  to  watch  his  movements  and 
keep  in  his  front,  while  Wheeler,  Hampton  and  Butler  with 
the  cavalry,  harrassed  his  flanks  and  rear  to  prevent  "burn- 
ing" and  to  be  in  position  to  promptly  report  any  change  of 
movement.  Wliile  General  Hardee  was  on  tlie  march  from 
Cheraw  to  Rockingham,  N.  C,  General  Sherman  suddenlv 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  193 

changed  his  course  in  the  direction  of  Fayettcville,  IT.  C.  Gen- 
eral Johnston  promptly  informed  General  Hardee,  but  th»? 
courier  failed  to  deliver  the  message  and  in  consequence  we 
continued  the  march  for  a  whole  day  in  the  opposite  direction, 
reaching  Rockingham,  where  we  camped  for  the  night.  At 
this  point  the  second  dispatch  was  received  from  General 
Johnston  and  we  immediately  turned  in  the  direction  of  Fay- 
etteville  and  attempted,  by  forced  march  by  day  and  by  night, 
to  regain  the  time  lost.  We  reached  Fayetteville  and  crossed 
the  river  before  making  a  stand.  The  enemy  occupied  tlie 
town  on  11  March  and  destroyed  the  old  United  States  arse- 
nal and  burned  the  business  portion  of  the  towm, 


On  15  March  we  occupied  a  position  on  the  Averasboro 
road,  leading  from  Fayetteville  to  Smithiield  and  Raleigh, 
near  AverashorO'.  As  the  enemy  had  retired  from  our 
front  the  day  before,  we  were  ordered  to  make  ourselves  com- 
fortable and  enjoy  a  day  of  rest.  During  the  day  we  learned 
that  the  enemy  were  advancing  in  large  force  and  driving  our 
cavalry  before  them.  A  hurried  disposition  of  the  troops 
was  made.  Colonel  Rhett  with  his  South  Carolina  Brigade, 
occupied  tlie  advance  position  where  the  Smith's  Ferry  road 
intersects  the  Averasboro  road  near  Smith's  house.  Elli- 
ott's Brigade  occupied  a  fortified  position  behind  a  swamp 
200  yards  to  the  rear  and  General  McLaws'  the  main  line  of 
defence  about  600  yards  to  the  rear  of  the  first  line.  As  soon 
as  proper  disposition  of  the  troops  was  completed,  Colonel 
Rliett  was  directed  by  General  Hardee  in  person  to  advance 
his  skirmishers.  They  were  soon  heavily  engaged  by  the  en- 
emy, and  Colonel  Rhett  venturing  too  far  to  the  front,  and 
mistaking  a  small  party  of  the  enemy  for  his  own  men,  was 
taken  prisoner.  The  command  of  this  brigade  now  devolved 
upon  Colonel  Butler,  of  the  First  Soutli  Carolina  Infantry. 
JSTothing  more  tlian  a  lively  and  prolonged  skirmish  developed 
during  the  15th.  At  7  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  16th 
the  enemy  made  a  vigorous  attack  on  our  position  with  in- 
fantry and  artillery.  Their  infantry  made  repeated  attempts 
to  carry  our  position,  but  were  always  repulsed  with  heavy 

194  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'e>5. 

Joss.  After  about  four  hours'  fighting,  at  11  o'clock,  thej 
made  a  vigorous  attack  upon  the  left  of  the  line,  at  the  same 
■time  massing  on  and  overlapping  the  right,  forcing  retire- 
ment on  the  second  line  occupied  by  Colonel  Elliott.  Re- 
peated attacks  were  made  on  this  line,  but  in  each  case  they 
"w^ere  gallantly  repulsed. 

About  1  o'clock  they  moved  a  lieavy  force  in  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Black  river,  completely  flanking  and  exposing  to  a 
severe  cross-fire  the  left  wing.  This  necessitated  retirement 
on  the  main  line  held  by  General  McLaws.  General  Talia- 
ferro, with  his  force,  which  had  been  engaged  up  to  this  time, 
occupied  position  on  both  sides  of  the  main  road.  General  Mc- 
Laws the  left,  and  General  Wheeler  with  his  dismounted  cav- 
alry, the  right  of  the  main  line,  Rhett's  Brigade,  which  had 
suffered  so  severely,  was  sent  to  the  rear  and  held  in  reserve. 
Every  attempt  to  carry  this  line  was  a  complete  failure  and 
after  night  the  enemy  withdrew  and  commenced  to  fortify 
his  position.  We  left  our  lines  in  possession  of  a  picket  of 
Wheeler's  men  and  moved  in  direction  of  Smithfield.  The 
Eederal  loss,  as  officially  reported  in  this  fight,  was  682.  The 
Confederate  loss  is  not  stated,  but  it  was  very  heavy  in 
Rhett's  Brigade. 

It  was  now  learned  that  Sherman's  anny  was  crossing  the 
Black  river  at  several  points.  His  persistent  attempt  to 
open  the  Averasboro  road  seemed  to  indicate  that  his  ob- 
jective point  was  Raleigh,  but  this  movement  across  the 
Black  river  made  it  uncertain  as  to  whether  he  would  move 
on  Raleigh  or  Goldsboro,  and  General  Hardee,  in  order  to  be 
in  position  to  turn  in  either  direction,  moved  to  the  inter- 
section of  the  roads  near  Elevation  Church,  in  Johnston 
county,  reaching  that  point  on  the  night  of  the  17th.  At  12 
o'clock  on  the  night  of  the  iTtli  General  Hampton,  who  was 
at  the  front  near  Bentonville,  received  a  request  from  Gen- 
eral Johnston,  who  was  then  at  Smithfield,  about  sixteen 
miles  away,  for  full  information  as  to  the  location  of  the  vari- 
ous commands  of  Shcnnan's  anny,  and  his  views  as  to  the  ad- 
visability of  attacking  the  enemy.  General  Hampton  re- 
ported at  once  that  the  Fourteenth  Corps  was  in  his  immedi- 
ate front;  the  Twentieth  Corps  was  on  the  same  road,  five  or 

Fiftieth  Regiment,  195 

six  miles  in  the  rear ;  while  the  two  other  Corps,  Logan's  and 
Blair's,  were  on  a  parallel  road  some  miles  to  the  south,  and 
&t  the  place  where  he  was  camped  was  an  admirable  one  for 
the  contemplated  attack.  He  also  reported  that  he  would 
delay  the  enemy  as  much  as  possible  to  gain  time  for  tlie  con- 
centration of  his  forces  at  this  point.  In  a  few  hours  he  re- 
ceived a  reply  from  General  Johnston  stating  that  he  would 
move  at  once,  and  directing  him  to  hold  the  position  if  possi- 
ble. Early  on  the  morning  of  the  18th  General  Hampton 
moved  his  cavalry  forward  until  he  met  the  enemy,  and  kept 
up  a  lively  skinnish,  slowly  falling  back,  until  in  the  after- 
noon he  had  reached  the  position  previously  selected  for  the 
battle.  As  it  was  of  vital  importance  that  this  position  should 
be  held  until  the  infantry  could  reach  them,  he  dismounted 
his  men  and  took  the  risk  of  sending  his  batteries  to  a  com- 
manding position  far  to  the  right  of  his  line,  and  entirely  un- 
supported, and  made  a  lx)ld  and  successful  stand. 


After  personally  superintending  the  placing  of  the  guns 
and  as  he  was  mounting  his  horse  to  ride  back  to  his  line  on 
the  road,  he  overheard  the  following  remark  from  one  of  the 
men  at  the  guns,  as  he  laughingly  addressed  his  companions: 
''Old  Hampton  is  playing  a  game  of  bluff,  and  if  he  don't 
mind  Sherman  will  call  him."  General  Johnston  reached 
Bentonville  during  the  night  of  the  18th  with  a  portion  of  the 
troops  from  Smithfield.  General  Hardee,  who  had  been  in- 
formed of  the  plan  of  attack,  left  the  camp  at  Elevation  early 
in  the  morning  of  the  18th,  but  after  a  hard  day's  march  we 
camped  that  night  at  Snead's  house,  five  miles  from  Benton- 
ville, and  about  eight  miles  from  the  extreme  part  of  the  line 
of  battle.  We  made  an  early  start  on  the  morning  of  the 
19th,  but  had  not  reached  the  position  assigned  us  before  the 
enemy  had  made  a  bold  assault  on  General  Hoke's  position  on 
the  road.  After  a  desperate  struggle  they  were  repulsed  and 
driven  from  the  field  in  confusion.  At  this  critical  moment 
a  mistake  occurred  which  perhaps  entirely  changed  the  results 
of  the  battle.  General  Hampton  refers  to  it  in  his  report  of 
the  battle,  and  General  Johnston  confirms  his  statements  of 

196  North  Carolina  Troops,   1 801 -'(55. 

facts  and  coiichisi(jii.  I  quote  from  'Molmston's  narrative"; 
"The  enemy  attacked  Hoke's  Division  vigorously,  especially 
it's  left,  so  vigorously  that  General  Bragg  apprehended  that 
Hoke,  although  slightly  entrenclied,  would  be  driven  from 
his  position.  He  tiierefore  applied  urgently  for  strong  rein- 
forcements. General  Hardee,  the  head  of  whose  column  was 
then  near,  was  directed,  most  injudiciously,  to  send  his  lead- 
ing division,  Mcl^aws',  to  the  assistance  of  the  troops  as- 

General  Hampton  in  his  account  of  the  battle,  says:  "Tloke 
x-epulsed  the  attack  made  on  him  fully  and  handsomely.  Had 
Hardee  been  in  the  position  originally  assigned  him  at  the 
cime  Hoke  struck  the  enemy,  and  could  his  conunand  and 
Stuart's  have  been  thrown  on  the  flanks  of  the  Federal  forces, 
I  think  that  the  Fourteenth  Corps  would  have  been  driven 
back  in  disorder  on  the  Twentieth,  which  was  moving  up  to 
it's  support."  General  Hampton,  in  his  account  of  the  part 
taken  by  General  Hardee's  command,  quotes  from  General 
Johnston  as  follows: 

*'The  Confederates  passed  over  the  hundred  yards  of  space 
between  the  two  lines  in  quick  time  and  in  excellent  order, 
and  the  remaining  distance  in  double-quick,  without  pausing 
to  lire  until  their  near  approach  had  driven  the  enemy  from 
che  shelter  of  their  entrenchments,  in  full  retreat,  to  their 
second  line.  After  firing  a  few  rounds  the  Confederates 
igain  pressed  forward,  and  when  they  were  near  the  second 
intrenchment,  how  manned  by  Ixvth  lines  of  Federal  troops, 
Lieutenant-General  Hardee,  after  commanding  the  double- 
quick,  led  the  charge,  and  with  knightly  gallantry,  dashed 
)ver  the  enemy's  breastworks  on  horsel)ack  in  front  of  his 
aien.  Some  distance  in  the  rear  there  was  a  very  thick  wood 
of  young  pines,  into  which  the  Federal  troops  were  pursued,- 
ind  in  which  they  rallied  and  renewed  the  fight.  But  the 
Confederates  continued  to  advance,  driving  the  enemy  l^ack 
slowl}'.  ISTight  coming  on  prevented  the  further  advance  of 
rhe  Confederates  who,  elated  with  victory,  were  now  anxious 
to  continue  the  pursuit  of  the  fleeing  enemy." 

The  close  of  tlio  first  day  of  this  hotly  contested  battle 
found  the  Confederates  victorious  at  every  point,  not  only 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  197 

holding-  their  o-wti  lines,  but  at  many  points  they  rested  for  the 
flight  in  full  possession  of  the  fortified  position  of  the  enemy. 
About  midday  of  the  20th  the  other  two  corps  of  the  enemy 
v\diich  had  been  moving  on  the  Fayetteville  and  Goldsboro 
i'oad,  crossed  to  the  Averasboro  road  and  appeared  in  fvdl 
force  on  our  left,  which  was  entirely  unprotected  from  Hoke's 
position  on  the  road  tO'  Mill  creek  below.  This  necessitated 
changing  Hoke's  front  to  left  and  parallel  to  the  road.  Mc- 
Laws'  Division  was  now  shifted  to  Hoke's  left,  with  the 
Fiftieth  jSTorth  Carolina  Regiment  and  Tenth  I^orth  Caro- 
lina Battalion  fonning  the  extreme  left  of  our  line.  This 
left  considerable  space  between  our  left  and  Mill  creek,  thus 
exposing  the  left  wing,  which  was  overlapped.  This  was  oc- 
cupied only  by  a  very  thin  skirmish  line  of  our  cavalry. 
These  newlj^  arrived  forces  assaulted  our  line  from  Hoke's 
right  to  Mc Laws'  left  repeatedly  during  the  afternoon  of  the 
20th,  but  were  handsomely  repulsed  in  every  instance.  On 
the  morning  of  the  21st  the  fighting  was  resumed  along 
Hoke's  and  McLaws'  front.  As  there  was  no  demonstration 
on  our  right,  General  Taliaferro  threw  forward  a  skirmish 
line  in  his  front  and  ascertained  that  the  Federal  left  had 
been  withdrawn,  and  the  combined  attacks  were  directed 
against  the  center  occupied  by  Hoke  and  the  left  by  McLaws 
and  our  cavalry.  About  4  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  our  left 
being  hard  pressed  and  overlapped,  General  TaliafeiTo  was 
ordered  from  the  extreme  right  to  our  support.  About  the 
same  time  it  was  learned  that  the  Federal  Seventeenth  Corps 
had  succeeded  in  breaking  through  the  thin  skirmish  line  on 
our  left  and  was  in  rear  of  our  line  and  near  the  only  bridge 
which  spanned  Mill  creek  at  Bentonville.  General  Hardee 
was  moving  (^umming's  Georgia  Brigade  to  the  left  to  pro- 
tect this  gap  at  the  time,  and  discovering  the  enemy,  ordered 
Colonel  Henderson,  commanding  the  brigade,  to  attack  the 
head  of  the  column,  at  the  same  time  discovering  the  Eighth 
Texas  Cavalry  approaching,  he  ordered  them  to  charge  the 
left  flank,  he  leading  the  charge  in  person. 

General  Hampton  at  the  same  time  struck  the  right  flank 
with  Young's  Brigade,  commanded  by  Colonel  Wright,  while 
General  Wheeler  attacked  the  rear  of  the  Federal  column 

198  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-05. 

some  distance  away.  The  rout  of  the  enemy  was  complete 
and  they  were  soon  driven  back  beyond  our  lines.  As  they 
retreated  in  confusion  the  slaughter  was  terrible.  Our  losses 
in  the  affair  were  insignificant  as  to  number.  A  son  of  Gen* 
eral  Hardee,  a  youth  of  only  16  years,  who  had  arrived  only 
two  hours  before,  was  killed  while  riding  in  the  charge  of  the 
Eighth  Texas  Cavalry,  led  by  his  father.  The  firing,  which 
had  been  extremely  heavy  up  to  this  time,  ceased  upon  the  re- 
turn of  the  Seventeenth  (Jorps  to  its  position  in  line,  and  there 
was  no  other  attempt  made  to  carry  any  part  of  our  line.  Gen- 
eral Hampton  states  that  the  Confederate  forces  engaged  in 
this  affair  did  not  exceed  three  hundred.  While  General  Mc- 
Laws  held  the  extreme  left  of  our  lines  and  the  enemy  were 
endeavoring  to  turn  our  Hank  the  Fiftieth  Xorth  Carolina 
Regiment  and  Tenth  ISTorth  Carolina  Battalion  of  Colonel 
Hardy's  Brigade,  in  a  single  charge  and  in  about  five  minutes 
time  sustained  a  loss  of  about  one-third  of  their  number.  In 
this  case  the  enemy  were  lying  in  line  three  columns  deep  and 
reserved  their  fire  until  our  troops  were  near  them  struggling 
through  a  dense  swamp.  At  the  first  volley  every  man  fell 
to  the  ground  and  Colonel  Wortham  and  Lieutenant  Lane,  of 
the  Fiftieth,  and  Lieutenant  Powell,  of  the  Tenth  Battalion, 
crawled  out  of  the  thicket  and  reported  to  General  McLavvs 
for  duty,  stating  that  the  entire  brigade  was  killed  or 
wounded.  Colonel  Hardy,  by  his  boldness  and  daring,  saved 
the  command  from  utter  destruction.  Dressed  in  a  suit  of 
sky  blue  broadcloth  and  broad-brimmed  slouch  hat,  he  might 
easily  be  taken  for  a  Federal  ofticer.  He  was  in  front  of  his 
men  leading  the  charge,  and  at  the  first  volley  he  rushed  for- 
ward with  his  hat  in  one  hand  and  his  sword  in  tbe  other,  and 
pacing  up  ;iud  down  in  front  of  and  Avithin  a  few  feet  of  the 
Federal  lines,  ordered  them  to  cease  firing,  as  they  were  firing 
on  their  own  men.  He  continued  this  for  some  time,  although 
their  own  officers  were  ordering  them  to  fire.  They  were  ut- 
terly confused  and  before  the  firing  was  resumed  all  of  our 
men  who  were  able  had  crawled  out  of  the  swamp  and  made 
their  escape,  and  Colonel  Hardy  deliberately  walked  off  with- 
out a  scratch. 

On  the  night  of  the  21st  the  oncMuy  kept  up  a  heavy  picket 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  199 

fire  along  our  front  while  withdrawing  their  troops  in 
the  direction  of  Goldsboro.  At  midnight  our  troops  were 
withdrawn  and  crossing  the  creek  at  Bentonville,  moved  on 
the  2 2d  toward  Smithfield.  In  the  battle  four  companies  of 
the  Fiftieth  Regiment,  C  and  D  of  Johnston,  E  of  Wayne 
and  H  of  Harnett,  were  near  their  homes  and  many  of  the 
men,  who  had  not  seen  their  homes  afid  families  for  many 
months,  marched  by  them  and  tarried  for  only  a  few  minutes, 
went  into  the  fight,  the  guns  of  which  could  be  distinctly 
heard  by  their  loved  ones,  and  again  without  stopping, 
marched  by  these  same  homes  with  Johnston's  army  on  its 
final  retreat,  proving  their  faith  and  loyalty  to  the  "Lost 
Cause'"  to  the  last. 

The  Fiftieth  Regiment  before  leaving  this  State  for 
Georgia  in  ISTovember,  1864,  was  recruited  from  the  camp  of 
instruction  at  Raleigh  to  something  over  900,  and  now  mus- 
tered less  than  half  that  number,  the  others  being  lost  from 
various  causes  during  the  severe  and  trying  campaign  through 
M'hich  they  had  passed. 

The  Confederate  forces  in  this  battle  were  about  17,000  in- 
fantry, the  Wheeler  and  Hampton  Cavalry  and  a  few  light 
field  batteries,  while  Sherman's  army,  as  officially  reported 
a  few  days  after  the  battle,  numbered  more  than  81,000. 

The  Federal  reports  place  their  losses  at  1,646  and  that  of 
the  Confederates  at  2,606,  but  General  Johnston  in  his  ac- 
count of  this  battle,  places  the  Federal  loss  at  more  than 
4,000.  Our  army  moved  to  Smithfield  and  thence  to  a  point 
a  few  miles  north  of  the  present  town  of  Selma  and  went 
into  camp  to  await  Sherman's  next  move,  whether  by  way  of 
Raleigh  or  the  more  direct  route  by  Weldon.  The  men  of 
our  command  were  supplied  with  clothing,  not  having  had  a 
change  since  leaving  their  baggage  in  Savannah  on  20  De- 
cember, 1864,  nor  had  they  slept  under  shelter  since  leaving 
Tarboro  in  l^ovember  preceding.  At  the  reorganization  of 
Johnston's  army  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  and  Tenth  Battalion 
were  assigned  to  Kirkland's  Brigade,  Hoke's  Division,  and 
what  had  constituted  Baker's  and  Hardy's  Brigade  was  dis- 

200  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801-'G5. 

retreat  and  surrender. 

On  10  April  we  received  information  that  General  Sher- 
man had  commenced  to  move  his  troops  from  Goldshoro  in 
the  direction  of  lialeigh.  Our  army  commenced  to  fall  hack 
and  on  the  11th  we  camped  a  few  miles  cast  of  the  city  of 
Raleigh  on  the  present  site  of  the  town  of  Garner,  entering 
the  city  early  on  the  morning'  of  the  li^th.  Our  rear  guard 
left  lialeigh  that  night  and  a  day  or  two  later  we  heard  the 
news  of  General  Lee's  surrender.  On  18  April,  1865,  at  the 
Bennett  house,  four  miles  west  of  Durham,  a  conference  was 
held  between  Generals  Johnston  and  Sherman,  and  terms  of 
capitulation  agreed  on  and  signed.  These  terms  were  more 
favorable  to  us,  even,  than  were  accorded  to  General  Lee  by 
General  Grant. 

Upon  reaching  Washington,  President  Lincoln  having 
been  assassinated  in  the  meantime,  they  w^ere  rejected  and 
General  Johnston  being  so  informed,  was  again  on  the  de- 
fensive. We  resumed  the  march,  passing  through  Chapel 
Hill  and  halting  at  a  point  near  Greensboro  where  the  final 
terms  were  agreed  upon  2(j  April.  The  army  was  paroled  2 
and  8  IMay. 

In  crossing  the  Tlaw  river  several  of  our  men  were  drowned 
by  leaving  the  ford  to  reach  some  fish  traps  a  short  distance 
below  and  being  caught  by  the  swift  current  and  swept  down 
into  the  deep  water  below.  On  reaching  Alamance  Creek, 
we  had  a  novel,  and  in  some  respects,  amusing  experience. 
On  account  of  heavy  rains  the  stream  was  much  sw^ollen  and 
the  current  ^'ery  strong.  General  Cheatham's  command  was 
moving  in  fi-out  of  General  Hoke's  Division  and  on  attempt- 
ing to  foi'd  the  stream  several  men  were  swept  down  by  the 
current,  whereupon  the  others  absolutely  refused  to  move. 
This  halted  the  entire  coluniii,  and  as  the  enemy's  cavalry  was 
closely  pressing  our  roar,  the  situation  was  becoming  critical. 
General  Cheathaiu  rode  to  tlic  front  and  learning  llie  cause  of 
the  lialt,  ordered  [lie  lucu  to  go  forward,  but,  enipliasizing 
their  deteruiiuation  \vith  some  pretty  lively  swearing,  they 
doggedly  refused  to  move,  whereupon  General  Cheatham 
seized  tbe  nearest  man  and  into  tlic  stream  thev  went.      After 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  201 

floundering  in  the  water  awhile  he  came  out  and,  after  re- 
peating the  process  for  a  few  times,  the  men  raised  a  shout 
and  proceeded  tO'  cross.  Three  wagons,  one  loaded  with 
"hardtack,"  one  with  guns,  and  one  with  bacon,  capsized  and 
were  swept  down  the  river.  Some  lively  diving  for  the  bacon 
followed,  but  I  guess  the  guns  are  still  rusting  in  the  bottom 
of  the  creek.  I  am  sure  none  of  them  were  disturbed  on 
that  occasion.  General  Hoke,  becoming  restless  and  impa- 
tient at  the  delay,  adopted  a  means  of  transportation  which 
proved  at  least  the  resources  of  a  fertile  brain.  The  water 
was  just  running  over  the  sandy  banks  of  the  stream  and 
selecting  a  suitable  place  a  short  distance  above  the  ford,  he 
moved  the  head  of  his  column  to  this  point,  directed  one  man 
to  seize  his  horse's  tail,  and  another  to  grasp  this  man's  shoul- 
der, and  another  and  another  until  he  had  a  long  line,  swam 
his  horse  across  the  narrow  stream  and  discharging  his  cargo 
safelj^  on  the  opposite  bank,  would  quickly  return  for  an- 
other. The  rapidity  with  which  the  men  were  carried  over 
was  astonishing.  I  don't  know  what  the  final  result  might 
have  been  had  we  not  received  information  that  a  short  dis- 
tance up  the  stream  at  Kuffin's  Mill  was  a  broad  and  shallow 
ford  below  the  mill,  at  which  we  could  easily  and  safely  cross. 

Following  the  announcement  of  the  second  "armistice" 
were  several  days  of  anxious  waiting.  There  was  a  very- 
large  element  of  both  officers  and  men  who  were  opposed  to  a 
surrender  and  many  were  leaving  in  small  bands  with  the 
understanding  that  they  would  afterwards  meet  at  some  ral- 
lying point  to  be  agreed  upon. 

When  the  final  announcement  was  made  that  the  army  was 
to  be  surrendered,  the  scenes  were  pathetic ;  strong,  brave 
men  were  seen  to  weep  like  children.  Officers  everywhere 
were  delivering  farewell  addresses  to  the  brave  men  who  had 
so  faithfully  and  loyally  followed  their  leaders  and  endured 
hardships  and  privations  without  a  murmur. 

If  General  Lee  had  been  able  to  hold  out  until  his  army 
and  General  Johnston's  could  have  been  united  as  had  been 
agreed  upon,  and  both  hurled  against  Sherman  and  then 
against  Grant,  the  result  might  have  been  quite  different. 
Would  it  have  been  for  the  best  interest  of  our  country  and 

202  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

our  race  ?  While  no  true  Confederate  soldier  has  any  apology 
to  offer  for  his  course,  there  is  a  wide  diversity  of  opinion  as 
to  the  correct  answer  tx)  the  above  question. 


Roster  of  officers  of  the  Fiftieth  Regiment  North  Carolina 
Troops  given  in  the  order  of  succession  as  shown  by  dates  of 
commission : 

Colonels:  M.  D.  Craton,  J.  A.  Washington,  George 
Worth  am. 

Lieutenant-Colonels  :  J.  A.  Washington,  George 
Wortham,  John  C.  Van  Hook. 

Majors:  George  Wortham,  John  C.  Van  Hook,  H.  J, 

Adjutants  :     W.  H.  Borden,  Jesse  W.  Edmondson. 

Surgeons  :  Walter  Duify,  Francis  W.  Potter,  John  D. 

Quartermasters  :     E.  B.  Borden,  E.  W.  Adams. 

Commissary:     E.  S.  Parker. 

Chaplains  :     Dr.  R.  S.  Moran,  Thomas  B.  Haughton. 

Sergeant-Majors:  Jesse  W.  Edmondson,  John  H, 


Company  A — Person  County- — Jolm  C.  Van  Hook,  James 
A.  Burch. 

Company  B — Roheson  County — E.  C.  Atkinson. 

Company  C — Johnston  County — R.  D.  Lunsford,  Thos. 
R.  Young-blood. 

Company  D — Johnston  County — H.  J.  Ryals,  W.  B.  Best. 

Company  E — Wayne  County — J.  B.  Griswold,  P.  L.  Bur- 
well,  W.  T.  Gardner. 

Company  F^ — Moore  County— J.  A.  O.  Kelley. 

Company  G — Bntherford  County — G.  W.  Andrews. 

Company  H — Harnett  County — Joseph  H.  Atkinson. 

Company  I — Bntherford  County — John  B.  Evans. 

Fiftieth  Regiment.  203 

Company  K — Rutherford  County — Samuel  Wilkins,  G. 
B.  Ford. 

FIRST  lieutenants. 

CoMrANY  A — James  A.  Burch,  W.  T.  Blalock. 
Company  B — Atlas  Atkinson. 

Company  C — Thomas  R.  Youngblood,  Jesse  T.  Elling- 

Company  T) — W.  B.  Best,  J.  J.  Penny. 

Company  E — W.  T.  Gardener,  W.  H.  Borden. 

Company  F — Alexander  Bolin. 

Company  G — John  A.  Morrison. 

Company  H — John  P.  McLean. 

Company  I — W.  M.  Corbitt. 

Company  K — J.  B.  Ford,  James  A.  Miller. 

SECOND    lieutenants. 

Company  A — W.  T.  Blalock,  R.  D.  Ramsey,  Albert 

Company  B— R.  P.  Collins,  W.  B.  Walters,  W.  B.  Jen- 

Company  C — G.  W.  Watson,  William  Lane,  J.  C.  Elling- 
ton, R,  H.  Yelvington  (Ensign). 

Company  D — William  M.  Adams,  Young  J.  Lee,  J.  J. 

Company  E — W.  H.  Borden,  George  Griswold,  W.  L. 
Edwards,  George  T.  Jones. 

Company  F — Malcom  McWatson,  James  Dalrymple. 

Company  G — R.  F,  Logan,  S.  D.  Hampton. 

Company  H — John  Brantly,  David  S.  Byrd,  B.  F.  Brant- 
ly,  A.  L.  Parker. 

Company  I — S.  E.  Bostick,  Jesse  Hellard. 

Company  K— P.  B.  Ford,  L.  P.  Wilkins. 

The  writer  acknowledges  his  indebtedness  to  Sergeant  K. 
J.  Carpenter,  of  Company  I,  for  the  use  of  a  diary  kept  by 
him  and  still  preserved.  This  was  found  to  be  exceedingly 
valuable  in  fixing  dates  not  otherwise  obtainable. 

All   "historical   events"   treated   in   the  foregoing  sketch 

204  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

were  verified  bj  a  careful  search  of  "The  Official  Records  of 
United  States  and  Confederate  Armies/'  and  may  be  relied 
on  as  strictly  autlientic. 

J.  C.  Ellington. 
Raleigh,  N.  C, 

26  April,  1901. 


AarOfi,  UEN0;(  AND 


1.  Jno.  L.  Cantwell,  Colonel.  4.    George  Sloan,  Captain,  Co.  I. 

2.  Hector  McKethan,  Colonel.  5.     W.  F.  Murphy.  Captain,  C<>.  K. 

3.  Robert  J.  McEuc-hern,  Captain,  Co.D.     6.     U.  C.  Rockwell,  Captain,  A.  Q.  M. 


By  a.  a.  McKETHAN,  Second  Lieutenant  Company  B. 

I'he  Fifty-first  North  Carolina  Regiment  could  well  be 
called  a  Cape  Fear  Regiment,  as  the  ten  companies  compos- 
ing the  command  came  from  the  counties  of  Cumberland, 
Sampson,  Duplin,  Columbus,  Robeson  and  New  Hanover. 

The  regiment  was  organized  at  Wilmington,  N.  C,  13 
April,  1862,  with  the  following  officers,  viz. : 

John  L.  Cantwell^  Colonel. 

William  A.  Allen^  Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Hectok  McKethan,  Major. 

J.  R.  Latta^  Adjutant. 

Alexander  Elliott^  Sergeant-Major. 

H.  C.  Rockwell^  Captain  and  Quartermaster. 

William  McKenzie^  Quartermaster  Sergeant. 

Dr.  S.  B.  Morrisey^ -Surgeon. 

Dr.  James  McGee,  Assistant  Surgeon. 

A.  T.  Robinson^  Hospital  Steward. 

Rev.  J.  B.  Aleord,  Chaplain. 

The  regiment  went  into  camp  near  Wilmington,  spending 
the  Slimmer  at  various  camps  near  that  city  and  at  Smith- 
ville  (now  Southport),  excepting  companies  D  and  K, 
which  were  detached  and  employed  in  building  the  iron-clad 
fort  on  the  river  a  few  miles  below  Wilmington.  From  Wil- 
mington we  were  ordered  in  August  to  Kinston,  IST.  C,  part 
of  the  command  being  employed  on  picket  duty  at  Core 
Creek,  about  eighteen  miles  distant. 

On  1  October,  the  Eighth,  Thirty-first,  Fifty-first  and 
Sixty-first  North  Carolina  Regiments  were  organized  into  a 
brigade  with  Thomas  L.  Clingman  as  Brigadier-General. 
About  this  time  Colonel  Cantwell  resigned,  and  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Allen  assumed  command,  and    we   were    employed 

20G  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

doing  picket  duty,  and  on  various  scouting  expeditions  to 
points  near  New  Bern. 

About  1  December  we  returned  to  Wilmington,  but  soon 
afterwards  were  ordered  to  Goldsboro,  and  were  under  fire 
for  the  first  time  near  that  place  (Neuse  River  Bridge),  as 
we  engaged  the  enemy  on  17  December,  the  regiment  taking 
an  active  part.  Our  men  behaved  with  conspicuous  gal- 
lantry and  forced  the  enemy  to  retire  before  them.  The  regi- 
ment suffered  a  loss  of  about  fifty  in  killed  and  wounded  in 
this  engagement,  Lieutenant  Solomon  Boykin,  of  Company 
K,  being  among  the  killed.  After  this  engagement  we  re- 
turned to  Wilmington  for  winter  quarters. 

Colonel  Allen  resigned  and  the  following  changes  were 
made  in  our  officers :  Hector  McKethan,  Colonel ;  Captain 
Caleb  B.  Hobson,  of  Company  B,  Lieutenant-Colonel ;  Cap- 
tain J.  R.  McDonald,  of  Company  D,  Major;  Chaplain, 
Colin  Shaw,  vice  J.  B.  Alford,  resigned. 

About  18  February,  1863,  we  were  ordered  to  Charleston, 
S.  C,  and  thence  to  Savannah,  Ga.,  spending  only  a  few 
days  at  the  latter  point  when  we  were  again  ordered  to 
Charleston  and  camped  on  James  Island.  At  this  place  we 
suffered  greatly  from  sickness  and  scanty  and  unwholesome 
rations.  On  1  May  we  returned  to  Wilmington,  going  into 
camp  at  Topsail  Sound.  A  few  days  later  Companies  B,  D, 
E  and  H  were  detached  and  sent  to  Magnolia  under  the  com- 
mand of  Major  McDonald. 

On  1  July,  a  raiding  party  of  the  enemy  from  New  Bern 
tapped  the  Wilmington  &  Weldon  Railroad  at  Warsaw  and 
this  detail  hurried  to  that  point,  causing  a  hasty  retreat  of 
the  enemy  in  the  direction  of  New  Bern,  and  capturing  some 
of  their  stragglers. 


About  this  time  the  enemy  began  active  operations  against 
Charleston,  S.  C,  and  on  10  July  Clingman's  Brigade  was 
ordered  to  that  point,  and  on  the  12th  the  Fifty-first  Regi- 
ment was  sent  to  Morris'  Island  as  a  garrison  for  Battery 
Wagner,  w^here  we  were  almost  continuously  exposed  to  the 
sharpshooting  and  cannonading  of  the  enemy  until  the  18th, 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  207 

suffering  almost  beyond  endurance  from  heat  and  great  scar- 
city of  water  and  rations,  to  say  nothing  of  the  inferior  qual- 
ity of  the  same,  and  from  the  terrible  shelling  which  was 
only  equaled  during  the  war  at  Fort  Fisher,  the  average  being 
twenty-eight  shells  per  minute  by  actual  count  from  sunrise 
to  7  p.  m.  Battery  Wagner  was  a  field  work  of  sand,  turf, 
and  palmetto  logs,  built  across  Morris'  Island,  extending 
from  the  beach  on  the  east  to  Vincent  Creek  on  the  west, 
about  200  yards.  From  north  to  south  it  varied  from  20  to 
75  yards.  On  the  space  to  the  west  were  built  wooden  quar- 
ters for  officers  and  men,  and  bomb-proofs  capable  of  holding 
from  800  to  1,000  men.  There  were  also  bomb-proof  maga- 
zines and  heavy  traverses. 

On  18  July,  the  armament  consisted  of  one  10-inch  Colum- 
biad,  one  32-pound  rifle,  one  42-pounder,  two  32-pound  Car- 
ronades,  two  l^aval  Shell  guns,  one  8-inch  sea-coast  Howitzer, 
four  smooth-bore  32-pounders,  one  10-inch  sea-coast  Mortar, 
making  in  all  thirteen  pieces.  Of  these  only  one  was  of  much 
effect  against  the  monitors,  and  the  Federal  land  batteries 
were  beyond  the  reach  of  the  other  guns,  so  that  we  had  little 
to  do  but  submit  to  the  hail  of  iron  sent  upon  us  by  the  supe- 
rior and  longer  range  guns  of  the  enemy  from  sunrise  until 

The  garrison  at  this  time  consisted  of  part  of  the  Thirty- 
first  iNTorth  Carolina,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Knight  command- 
ing, which  had  been  sent  over  on  17  July ;  the  Fifty-first 
l^orth  Carolina,  Colonel  Hector  McKethan;  a  Charleston 
battalion,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Gail- 
lard,  with  Tatum's  and  Adams'  companies  of  the  First  South 
Carolina  Regulars,  acting  as  artillery;  Buckner's  and  Dix- 
on's companies  of  the  Sixty-third  Georgia  Heavy  Artillery, 
and  DePass'  Battery,  in  all  about  1,700  men. 

The  Charleston  Battalion  and  the  Fifty-first  North  Caro- 
lina Regiment  were  assigned  to  the  defense  of  the  parapets  in 
the  order  named,  from  the  right  along  the  south  front.  The 
four  companies  of  the  Thirty-first  North  Carolina  Regiment 
extended  along  the  sea  face  from  the  Fifty-first ;  the  balance 
of  the  Thirty-first  was  held  in  reserve  at  Fort  Gregg.  Two 
companies  of  the  Charleston  Battalion  were  outside  of  the 

208  North  Carolina  Troops,    1861 -'65. 

woi-ks,  iiiiarding  the  left  gorge  and  sallyport.      Two  of  (cap- 
tain DePass'  field  pieces  were  also  outside. 

During  the  bombardment  we  had  concentrated  upon  our 
little  band  forty-four  guns  and  mortars  from  the  land  bat- 
teries of  the  enemy,  distant  from  1,200  to  2,000  yards,  and 
the  heavy  guns  from  the  iron-sides,  five  monitors  and  five 
gunboats,  say  about  fifty  guns,  making  a  total  of  ninety-four 
guns.  The  sand  being  our  only  protection,  fortunately  one 
shell  would  fill  up  the  hole  made  by  the  last,  or  we  would  have 
been  annihilated.  Our  only  guns  that  could  reach  the  en- 
emy had  been  dismounted  by  their  fire,  and  our  smaller  ones 
we  had  been  compelled  to  dismount  in  order  to  protect,  so 
that  we  might  use  when  the  assault  should  be  made.  During 
the  day  the  garrison  was  protected  as  much  as  possible  by 
the  bomb-proofs,  only  those  necessary  to  guard  and  work  the 
guns  being  required  to  remain  exposed.  This  accounts  for 
the  small  loss  sustained  during  the  day,  but  at  a  given  signal 
each  man  was  expected  to  report  at  his  station  in  the  works, 
the  fire  being  so  rapid  and  deadly  that  it  would  have  been 
impossible  to  attempt  anything  like  military  formation. 
About  dusk  18  July,  1863,  the  long  expected  signal  was 
given  and  the  Fifty-first  North  Carolina  as  one  uum,  sprang 
to  its  post,  encouraged  and  led  by  the  officers. 

The  advancing  column  of  the  enemy  consisted  of  the  First 
Brigade,  made  up  of  six  regiments  and  one  battalion,  sup- 
ported by  Putnam's  Brigade  of  five  regiments,  with  Steven- 
son's Brigade,  of  four  regiments,  held  as  a  reserve. 

The  enemy  advanced  in  column  of  regiments,  led  by  Shaw's 
Fifty-fourth  Massachusetts,  a  picked  negro  regiment,  be- 
tween sunset  and  dusk  with  empty  guns  and  orders  to  use 
their  bayonets.  Time  had  not  been  given  us  to  mount  our 
guns,  which  as  before  stated,  we  had  dismounted  for  protec- 
tion, so  that  the  assault  was  met  solely  by  our  infantry,  not  a 
cannon  being  fired  ;  but  so  murderous  was  our  fire  that  the 
advancing  columns  broke  and  rushed  to  the  rear  through  the 
ranks  of  their  own  support,  causing  confusion  and  delay, 
(^olonel  Shaw,  who  was  hardly  more  than  a  boy,  fell  dead 
on  the  top  of  our  breastworks,  in  advance  of  his  men,  stnick 
witli  tlircc  ii)oi-tal  wounds.      Ills  fdllowcrs  l)rokc  and  fled  in 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  209 

wild  terror.  A  most  handsome  monument  has  been  erected 
in  Boston  to  perpetuate  his  memory. 

About  an  hour  later  a  second  assault  was  made.  By  this= 
time  we  had  mounted  our  gims  which  we  opened  on  them  at 
short  range,  and  our  infantry  again  poured  their  deadly  fire 
into  their  ranks,  causing  a  second  break  with  even  greater 
loss  than  the  first.  A  third  and  final  assault  was  made  about 
10  o'clock,  and  notwithstanding  a  cross-fire  was  concentrated 
upon  them,  a  lodgment  was  made  behind  the  bomb-proof  and 
magazine  manned  by  the  four  companies  of  the  Thirty-first 
I^Torth  Carolina,  but  to  hold  only  for  a  short  time.  Their 
commander  was  killed,  and  the  Thirty-second  Georgia  Regi- 
ment arriving  at  this  time  was  sent  along  the  parapet,  and  to 
the  top  of  the  magazine.  In  this  way  their  rear  was 
reached,  and  the  assailants  of  a  few  minutes  before  found 
themselves  assailed  and  throwing  down  their  arms,  surren- 
dered and  put  an  end  to  the  day's  fighting. 

Brigadier-General  Taliafen'o  was  in  immediate  command 
of  Morris'  Island  during  the  day.  The  position  of  the  Fifty- 
first  was  such  that  it  bore  the  brunt  of  the  assault,  and  its 
members  were  therefore  the  most  active  participants.  The 
Confederate  loss  during  the  day  was  175,  of  which  the  Fifty- 
first  suffered  34  killed  and  40  wounded,  the  following  officers 
being  among  the  number:  Lieutenant  Giles  W.  Thompson^ 
of  Company  E,  killed ;  Lieutenants  Edward  Southerland,  W. 
H.  Littlejohn,  of  Company  A,  and  Lieutenant  J.  D.  Malloy^ 
of  Company  D,  wounded.  The  enemy  is  said  to  have  lost 
2,000,  800  of  whom  were  buried  in  front  of  the  fort  next 
morning.  This  great  slaughter  shows  how  desperately  our 
men,  maddened  and  infuriated  at  the  sight  of  negro  troops, 
fought.  The  next  morning  we  were  relieved  and  sent  to  Sul- 
livan's Island,  the  officers  and  men  being  complimented  by 
General  Beauregard  for  the  manner  in  which  they  had  be- 
haved. A  writer  from  another  State  referring  to  this  en- 
gagement, used  the  following  language:  "The  Fifty-fi.rst 
North  Carolina  brilliantly  sustained  the  honor  of  their  State 
and  were  highly  commended,  especially  the  field  officers,  Col- 


'210  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

onel  Hector  McKethan,  Lieutenant-Colonel  C.  B.  Hobson, 
and  Major  J.  R.  McDonald." 

The  following  incident  is  vouched  for  by  Lieutenant  J.  A. 
McArthur,  of  Company  I,  Fifty-first  North  Carolina,  now 
a  resident  of  Cumberland  county:  The  day  of  the  assault 
Lieutenant  McArthur  was  the  officer  of  the  day,  and  as  such, 
had  a  guard  of  sixty-five  men  detailed  from  the  different 
commands  on  the  Island.  In  the  third  and  last  assault  when 
the  enemy  secured  a  lodgment  near  the  bomb-proof,  he  was 
ordered  by  General  Taliaferro,  in  command  of  the  post,  to  go 
with  his  guard  to  the  relief  of  that  part  of  the  line.  As  Lieu- 
tenant McArthur,  led  by  one  of  the  men  with  a  torch  ascended 
the  bomb-proof,  the  enemy  began  to  fire  upon  them,  and  the 
fire  was  promptly  returned  as  they  advanced,  but  as'  they 
neared  the  enemy  an  Irishman  from  one  of  the  Charleston 
companies  in  McArthur's  detail,  appealed  to  him  to  have  the 
firing  cease,  as  he  had  recognized  the  voice  of  his  brother  in 
the  ranks  of  the  enemy,  which  turned  out  to  be  true,  for  when 
they  surrendered  a  few  minutes  afterwards  the  brother  was 
found  to  be  among  the  prisoners.  Next  morning  the  prison- 
ers were  formed  to  be  sent  to  Charleston,  when  our  Irishman 
appeared  the  second  time  begging  that  his  brother  should 
not  be  sent  to  prison,  and  when  told  that  it  could  not  be 
helped,  as  he  had  been  captured  with  the  others,  he  then 
proposed  that  his  brother  be  permitted  to  enter  the  ranks  by 
his  side,  and  in  this  way  the  prisoner  was  transfonned  to  a 
Confederate  soldier. 

The  enemy  now  concluded  that  the  only  way  to  capture 
Wagner  was  by  slow  siege,  we  doing  our  share  of  the  garrison- 
ing while  this  was  going  on.  On  24  November  we  returned 
to  North  Carolina,  going  to  Tarboro  by  rail,  and  marching 
to  Williamston,  were  assigned  to  duty  at  Foster's  Mill,  in 
Martin  county.  On  13  December  we  returned  to  Tarboro, 
wdiere  we  remained  till  5  January,  1864,  going  thence  to  Pe^ 
tersburg,  Va.,  and  occupied  Camp  Hill  near  that  place.  Later 
in  January,  1864,  we  returned  to  North  Carolina,  marching 
on  New  Bern  and  engaging  in  a  sharp  skirmish  at  Bachelor's 
Creek,  driving  the  enemy  from  their  position  and  pushing 
them  into  New  Bern.     We  then  returned  to  Petersburg,  Va., 


A8TOR,  LEHOX  A  •35 



1.  Samu«'l  W.  Maultsby,  Captain,  Co.  H.     4.    E.  T.  McKethan,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  K. 

2.  Joseph  A.  McArthiir,  1st  Lt.,  Co  I.        5.    Alexander  Elliott,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  K. 

3.  Hector  McEacheni,  Ist  Lieut.,  Co.  D.     6.    Stephen  J.  Cobb,  Private,  Co.  D. 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  211 

and  about  1  April  were  ordered  to  Ivor  Station  and  marched 
on  Suffolk,  driving  the  enemy's  pickets  to  a  point  beyond  that 
town.  About  1  May,  General  Butler  landed  a  strong  force 
at  City  Point,  Va.,  and  we  returned  to  Petersburg  and 
marched  to  Dunlop's  Farm,  about  four  miles  distant  in  the 
direction  of  Pichmond.  Here  we  met  and  skirmished  with 
the  enemy  for  several  days. 


On  12  May  we  marched  to  Dre\\T;v''s  Bluff  and  occupied 
the  works  previously  built.  Butler  followed  us  towards 
Richmond,  the  plan  being  to  draw  him  from  his  base  and  at- 
tack him  from  front  and  rear.  On  16  May,  having  been  re- 
inforced, we  were  ordered  by  General  Beauregard  to  mount 
the  works  and  charge  the  enemy.  This  we  did  over  ground 
strewn  with  fallen  trees,  the  limbs  of  which  had  been  sharp- 
ened as  an  additional  protection  for  the  works,  but  we  pressed 
forward  carrying  line  after  line  of  the  enemy  until  we  had 
them  in  full  retreat,  and  had  the  forces  from  Petersburg  co- 
operated in  the  same  manner  we  would  have  captured  But- 
ler's entire  command.  Our  loss  in  this  engagement  was  very 
heavy,  amounting  to  ten  officers  and  ]  50  men :  Captain  Wil- 
lis H.  Pope,  of  Company  E,  and  Lieutenant  J.  B.  McCallum, 
of  Company  D,  being  killed  ;  Lieutenants  W.  J.  Southerland, 
of  Company  A,  Hector  McEachern  of  Company  D,  Jacob  A. 
Evans  of  Company  C,  J.  A.  McArthur  of  Company  I,  and 
Captain  Samuel  W.  Maultsby  of  Company  H,  being  among 
the  wounded ;  Captain  W.  F.  Mui-phy  of  Company  K,  Lieu- 
tenants J.  D.  Malloy  of  Company  D,  and  L  A.  McArthur  of 
Company  I,  were  captured. 


On  the  18th  and  19th  we  again  skirmished  with  the  enemy, 
sustaining  considerable  loss.  We  then  marched  to  Cold  Har- 
bor and  skirmished  with  the  enemy  on  31  May.  On  1  June 
the  battle  of  Cold  Harbor  Avas  fought.  Here  we  were  charged 
by  line  after  line  of  the  enemy,  each  line  coming  within  a 
few  yards  of  us,  but  our  fire  was  so  murderous  they  could  not 
live  under  it;  but  notwithstanding  we  killed  thousands  of 

212  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

them,  fresh  lines  were  thrown  at  us  until  finally  a  lodgment 
was  secured  in  a  branch  supposed  to  be  impassable,  and  we 
were  flanked  and  compelled  to  retire.  Having  driven  the 
enemy  from  our  front,  the  order  to  retire  was  not  understood 
by  part  of  our  men  and  they  were  cut  off,  but  not  willing  to 
give  up,  they,  together  with  Lieut. -Col.  Jno.  R.  Murchison  and 
part  of  his,  the  Eighth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  continued 
the  fight  till  entirely  surrounded,  not  only  with  live,  but  also 
dead  yankees.  Our  losses  during  the  two  days  were  194  (11 
officers  and  183  men),  Captain  Robert  J.  McEachern,  of 
Company  D,  and  Lieutenant  Alexander  Elliott,  of  Company 
K,  being  killed ;  Captain  George  Sloan,  of  Company  I,  Lieu- 
tenant G.  P.  Higley,  of  Company  F,  wounded ;  and  Major 
J.  R.  McDonald,  together  with  the  wounded,  were  captured. 
We  remained  at  Cold  Harbor  for  several  days  and  then 
marched  to  Malvern  Hill,  thence  to  Drewry's  Bluff,  and  then 
to  Petersburg,  reaching  the  latter  point  in  time  to  prevent 
Butler  from  occupying  the  city. 

17  JUNE,  1864. 

On  16  and  17  June  the  enemy  charged  our  line  and 
we  repulsed  them,  inflicting  considerable  loss,  but  on  the 
17th,  they  succeeded  in  breaking  through  the  line  at  a 
point  held  by  Wise's  Virginia  Brigade,  and  at  once  be- 
gan to  pour  a  deadly  fire  on  our  flank.  Promptly  five 
companies  of  the  Fifty-first,  under  the  conmiand  of  Col- 
onel McKethan,  filed  to  the  rear.  Ransom's  Brigade, 
under  command  of  Colonel  W.  J.  Clarke,  of  the  Twenty- 
fourth  North  Carolina,  being  hastily  thrown  in  the  same  ])0si- 
tion  on  the  right  of  the  break,  and  at  the  sigmal  these  two 
commands  changed  front  and  rushed  forward  with  fixo^d  bay- 
onets and  soon  recaptured  the  lost  ground,  but  at  a  fearful 
loss,  Colonel  McKethan  l>eing  among  the  seriously  wounded. 
In  this  contest  the  bayonet  and  butts  of  giins  were  freely  used, 
as  there  was  not  time  to  load  and  fire.  The  position  \\as  r^^c\i 
that  the  five  companies  of  the  Fifty-first  and  the  Tlnrry-til'th 
North  Carolina  of  Ransom's  Brigade  occupying  the  centre 
and  being  the  assailants,  suffered  the  greatest  losses.     But  for 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  213 

the  prompt  action  of  tliese  commands  the  enemy  would  cer- 
tainly have  marched  into  Petersburg  on  17  June,  1864. 

We  remained  in  the  works  in  front  of  Petersburg  for 
months  under  fire  every  day,  and  it  has  been  estab- 
lished by  actual  measurements  since  the  close  of  the  war  that 
at  times  there  was  but  sixty-three  yards  between  our  line  of 
works  and  that  of  the  enemy,  while  only  thirty-five  yards  sep- 
arated our  pickets,  which  should  give  a  pretty  accurate  idea 
of  the  danger  and  hardships  under  which  we  passed  the  sum- 
mer of  1864.  On  19  August  we  were  called  upon  to  meet  a 
raiding  party  operating  on  the  Wilmington  &  Weldon  Rail- 
road south  of  Petersburg.  Here  we  met  the  enemy  and  after 
a  running  fight  of  many  miles  forced  them  into  their  lines. 
This  was  a  regular  woods  scramble,  it  being  impossible  to 
preserve  anything  like  a  line  of  battle  on  account  of  the  den- 
sity of  the  woods ;  the  result  was  that  we  captured  a  large 
number  of  prisoners,  and  suffered  considerable  loss  ourselves, 
some  of  our  men  being  captured  and  recaptured  several  times. 
General  Clingiuan  was  wounded  in  this  engagement,  and  the 
brigade  lost  the  services  of  this  gallant  soldier  till  near  the 
close  of  the  ^^'ar,  the  command  of  the  brigade  devolving  on 
■Colonel  McKethan   of  the  Fifty-first. 


We  were  next  taken  to  the  north  side  of  the  James  river 
and  on  30  September  assaulted  Fort  Harrison.  This  point  liad 
been  taken  by  the  enemy  from  our  people,  and  being  consid- 
ered a  point  of  importance,  was  at  once  strengthened  and 
very  heavily  garrisoned.  To  have  attempted  its  recapture 
under  such  circumstances  was  a  mistake,  and  as  carried  out 
a  terrible  blunder  on  the  part  of  some  one,  the  assaulting  par- 
ties going  in,  in  detail  and  being  cut  down  in  turn  by  the 
deadly  fire  of  the  enemy.  Our  officers  on  the  ground,  par- 
ticularly Colonel  McKethan,  the  brigade  commander,  seeing 
the  impossibility  of  success  and  the  heavy  loss  that  we  must 
sustain,  protested  against  making  the  assault,  but  being  or- 
dered by  superior  officers  to  go  forward,  nobly  offered  them- 
selves and  their  commands  as  sacrifices  for  their  country.  At 
the  command  the  Fifty-first  rushed  forward  with  the  other 

214  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

regiments  of  the  brigade,  preserving  their  alignment  until 
the  stockade  was  reached,  which  they  found  impossible  to 
pass.  To  retreat  was  death,  so  the  only  chance  was  to  throw 
down  their  guns  and  pull  up  these  obstructions,  which  the 
men  at  once  attempted,  but  a  double  line  armed  with  repeat' 
ing  rifles  posted  in  front  of  the  works,  and  a  deadly  fire 
from  the  garrison  in  the  fort,  said  to  have  been  several  lines 
deep,  and  the  concentration  of  all  the  artillery  upon  them, 
made  the  position  untenable  and  the  task  impossible,  so  that 
the  few  left  were  forced  to  seek  shelter  offered  by  two  old 
buildings  near  the  works.  Never  was  an  assault  made  more 
gallantly  or  against  greater  odds.  The  Light  Brigade  at 
Balaklava  did  no  more.  "Some  one  had  blundered,"  but  it 
was  a  soldier's  duty  to  obey.  Our  loss  was  seven  officers  and 
ninety-seven  men,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Hobson  being  among 
the  killed,  Lieutenant  F.  S.  Currie,  of  Company  D,  and  Lieu- 
tenant J.  A.  Meares,  of  Company  H,  wounded,  and  others, 
whoso  names  cannot  now  be  recalled.  To  Sergeant-Ma j or 
W.  D.  McMillan  (Dr.  McMillan,  of  Wilmington),  who  was 
seriously  wounded  in  this  assault,  I  am  indebted  for  the  fol- 
lowing figures,  viz. : 

"The  brigade  went  into  this  engagement  with  857  guns, 
and  in  ten  or  fifteen  minutes  lost  587."  I  am  unable  to  give 
the  strength  of  the  Fifty-first  at  this  particular  time,  but  as 
the  brigade  contained  857  and  was  composed  of  four  regi- 
ments, the  Fifty-first  could  not  at  this  time  have  containod 
many  over  200. 

To  give  some  idea  how  the  Fifty-first  suffered  during  the 
four  and  one-half  months  from  15  May  to  1  October,  1864. 
On  15  May  we  had  1,100  officers  and  men,  going  into  the 
charge  of  16  May  with  800  men  ready  for  duty  (a  detail  was 
made  from  the  regiment  on  the  15th,  and  did  not  participate 
in  this  engagement).  On  1  October  we  had  reduced  to  145 
men,  many  of  the  companies  being  without  commissioned  of- 
ficers, and  in  some  cases  in  command  of  a  corporal. 

Our  casualties  aggregated  over  1,000,  as  some  were  wound- 
ed several  times.  Companies  D  and  I  each  suffered  a  loss  of 
more  than  100  men  to  the  company.  Clingman's  Brigade, 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  McKethan,  was  then  placed 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  215 

in  the  line  of  works  protecting  Richmond,  our  left  resting  on 
the  Darbytown  road,  where  we  remained  until  December^ 
doing  picket  duty  and  engaging  in  one  or  two  feints  against 
the  enemy  to  draw  their  attention  from  Petersburg. 


On  24  December  we  received  marching  orders  and  pro- 
ceeded to  Richmond  on  our  way  to  ISTorth  Carolina,  having 
been  called  on  account  of  Butler's  threatening  Fort  Fisher. 
On  reaching  Wilmington  we  went  into  camp  at  Camp  Lamb, 
spending  about  one  week,  when  we  changed  our  camp  to  a 
point  near  Green's  mill  pond,  where  we  remained  until  the 
final  attack  on  Fort  Fisher.  On  12  January,  1865,  our 
division  (General  Robert  F.  Hoke's)  was  mustered  at  camp 
for  division  review  for  the  benefit  of  a  large  number  from  the 
city,  and  after  marching  and  counter  marching  for  the  gTeater 
portion  of  the  day  we  returned  to  our  quarters  for  rest,  but 
were  not  given  this,  as  the  "long  roll"  called  us  to  arms  dur- 
ing the  night  and  we  were  hurried  towards  Fisher.  A  march 
however,  had  been  stolen  on  our  people,  as  a  heavy  force  had 
been  landed  by  the  enemy  and  cut  us  off  from  the  fort. 

Why  we  should  have  been  stopped  in  Wilmington,  thirty 
miles  from  Fort  Fisher,  I  have  never  understood.  Had 
General  Hoke  and  his  division  been  put  in  supporting  dis- 
tance of  Fisher,  the  enemy  could  not  have  made  their  land- 
ing, and  without  this  the  capture  of  Fisher  was,  in  my  opin- 
ion, impossible. 

After  the  fall  of  Fort  Fisher  we  made  a  line  across  the 
peninsula  and  threw  up  works,  our  right  resting  on  the  Cape 
Fear  river  near  Sugar  Loaf,  and  our  left  on  the  ocean  near 
what  is  now  known  as  Carolina  Beach.  From  this  point  we 
fell  back  to  within  a  few  miles  of  Wilmington,  skirmishing 
with  the  enemy  as  they  followed.  We  then  evacuated  Wil- 
mington, crossing  North  East  river  and  marching  to  Rockfish 
in  Duplin  county. 

battle  of  southwest  ckeek:. 

From  this  point  we  were  taken  by  rail  to  Kinston  and  en- 
gaged in  three  days  fighting,  7,  8  and  9  March,  1865,  near 

216  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

that  ]ila('(\  (Iriviiio-  the  enenij  several  miles,  capturing  and 
killiiiii'  many  witli  but  small  loss  to  our  side.  The  change  from 
Eockfish  to  Kinston  carried  us  through  ]\Iagnolia,  where  the 
companv  which  1  then  commanded  was  raised,  and  the  homes 
of  many  of  the  men  could  be  seen  from  the  cars.  1  was 
given  orders  for  that  reason  to  put  my  command  in  an  ordi- 
nary box  car,  such  as  was  used  in  those  days  for  transporting 
soldiers,  and  to  get  on  top  myself  with  a  good  man  and  allow 
none  of  the  men  to  get  off  as  we  passed  through  the  section 
in  which  they  lived.  We  had  not  proceeded  far  when  the  en- 
gine stopping  at  a  tank  for  water,  I  discovered  two  of  my 
best  men  on  the  ground  near  the  car.  I  spoke  to  them  and 
demanded  an  explanation  of  their  violation  of  orders,  when 
one  of  them,  pointing  to  a  small  house  a  few  hundred  yards 
distant,  said  that  the  lady  standing  in  the  door  was  his  sis- 
ter;  that  he  was  going  to  stop  and  see  her,  but  would  be  on 
next  day.  To  permit  this  was  a  violation  of  orders  on  my 
part  as  well  as  that  of  the  soldiers,  ])ut  knowing  that  the  en- 
emy was  closing  in  behind  us  and  this  would  perhaps  be  their 
last  chance  to  see  their  loved  ones,  and  having  confidence  in 
the  men,  I  did  not  have  the  heart  to  stop  them,  whatever  the 
consequences  to  myself  might  be,  and  in  this  way  I  lost  the 
greater  part  of  my  company  before  reaching  Kinston,  and  in 
the  first  day's  fight  the  First  Sergeant  and  myself  represented 
the  company ;  but  true  men  as  they  were,  all  reported  for  duty 
that  night.  This  is  mentioned  to  illustrate  the  true  spirit 
and  patriotism  of  the  southern  soldier ;  the  cause  was  almost 
lost  and  he  knew  it,  and  immediately  before  him  he  could 
picture  his  fields  laid  in  waste,  his  home  plundered  and  his 
family  exposed  and  suffering,  yet  even  to  the  last  roll  call, 
he  answered  to  his  country's  summons  at  the  post  of  danger 
and  duty. 


Tlie  advance  of  tlie  enemy  from  Wilmington  and  the  near 
apjtroach  of  Sherman's  army  from  Fayettevillv^,  caused 
our  withdrawal  from  Kinston  and  rendering  the  evacmi- 
tion  of  (jlo]dsl)(»ro  necessary  we  were,  therefore,  ordered  to 
Bentonville,  wh(>re  we  met  and  checked  Sherman.      The  first 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  217 

day  we  fouglit  facing  Fayetteville  and  with  our  backs  on 
Goldsboro,  but  we  were  soon  flanked  and  compelled  to  face 
about.  Several  attempts  from  the  direction  of  Goldsboro 
were  made  to  dislodge  us,  but  failed ;  still  the  vast  forces  un- 
der Sherman  finally  forced  us  to  retire  to  escape  being  sur- 
rounded and  our  communications  cut  off.  This  we  did  in 
good  order,  marching  to  Smithfield,  where  we  remained  sev- 
eral days.  The  enemy  however,  soon  began  to  advance  and 
on  10  April  we  began  tO'  retire  before  them  towards  Raleigh, 
through  which  city  we  marched  12  April  just  ahead  of  Sher- 
man. From  Raleigh  we  went  to  Chapel  Hill,  finally  halt- 
ing at  Bush  Hill,  I^.  C,  where  we  surrendered  with  John- 
ston's army  and  were  paroled  2  May,  1865,  to  return  to  our 

Thus  ends  the  history  of  the  Fifty-first  Xorth  Carolina 
Regiment.  The  regiment  was  composed,  rank  and  file,  of  men 
and  ofiicers  of  whom  any  country  on  earth  might  well  be 
proud.  Many,  as  was  the  case  with  our  Colonel  and  a  num- 
ber of  others,  saw  the  sun  of  the  South  rise  in  glory  at  Bethel, 
and  set  in  its  blood-red  sheen  at  Bentonville.  In  this  time 
many  a  loved  and  chivalric  comrade  passed  from  us  on  his 
long  and  sad  furlough.  Thirty-six  years  have  passed  and 
Time,  with  his  cruel  scythe,  has  cut  down  most  of  those  who 
w^ere  left ;  to  the  memory  of  those  that  have  passed  before  and 
since,  officers  and  men,  I  dedicate  this  feeble  tribute. 

In  closing,  I  desire  to  say  that  in  the  preparation  of  this 
very  imperfect  sketch,  I  have  been  compelled  to  do  so  with- 
out data,  as  our  official  papers  were  lost  during  the  latter 
days  of  the  war.  But  by  the  aid  of  Adjutant  J.  R.  Latta,  of 
'New  Hanover;  Stephen  J.  Cobb,  of  Company  D  (Captain 
Company  F,  Second  North  Carolina  Volunteers,  Spanish- 
American  War)  ;  and  H.  L.  Hall,  of  Company  I,  and  others 
who  were  fortunate  enough  to  escape  the  terrible  struggle,  I 
am  under  obligations  for  much  information,  and  in  particular 
as  to  the  casualties.  It  was  my  wish  to  give  a  full  list  of 
the  casualties  of  the  regiment,  but  I  found  it  impossible  to  do 
this  even  of  the  commissioned  officers  in  the  different  engage- 
ments in  which  the  regiment  participated.  I  attach  here- 
with a  roster  of  the  commissioned  officers  from  the  organiza- 

218  North  Carolkna  Troops,  1861-65. 

tion  to  the  surrender,  and  with  the  aid  of  others,  I  have  at- 
tempted to  give  from  memory  opposite  each  name  such  in- 
formation as  I  have  been  able  to  obtain.  While  this  roster 
is  not  perfectly  correct  it  is  as  near  so  as  can  be  made  thirty- 
six  years  after  the  close  of  the  war. 

I  also  insert  statistics  of  enlistments  in  Companies  D 
and  I  from  organization,  and  of  the  casualties  in  each  of  said 
companies.  The  casualties  in  these  two  companies  fairly 
represent  the  losses  in  the  eight  others,  and  the  loss  of  officers 
as  shown  by  the  roster  will  convey  some  idea  of  the  losses  sus- 
tained by  the  Fifty-first  from  17  December,  1862,  to  21 
March,  1865. 


Company  A — Captain  J.  L.  Cantwell,  promoted  to  Colo- 
nel on  organization,  resigned ;  Captain  Walker.  Lieutenant 
Edward  Southerland,  promoted  to  Captain,  wounded  at  Bat- 
tery Wagner  18  July,  1863,  again  wounded  in  1864;  Lieu- 
tenant W.  J.  Southerland  severely  wounded  16  May,  1864, 
and  never  returned  to  service;  Lieutenant  W.  H.  Littlejohn 
wounded  at  Battery  Wagner  18  July,  1863;  Lieutenant 
Reuben  J.  T.  Hawse  promoted  from  First  Sergeant,  lost  a 
leg  at  Fort  Harrison. 

Company  B — Captain  Caleb  B.  Hobson,  promoted  to  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, killed  at  Fort  Harrison  30  September,  1864, 
Lieuteuant  W.  R.  Bell,  promoted  to  Captain,  wounded  and  re- 
tired ;  Lieutenant  J.  E.  Swinson,  resigned  during  fall  or  win- 
ter of  1862  ;  Lieutenant  Thomas  J.  Herring,  promoted  to 
Captain,  seriously  wounded ;  Lieutenant  Jesse  T.  Smith, 
promoted  from  Sergeant,  captured  and  retained  in  prison  till 
close  of  the  war;  Lieutenant  C.  L.  Cowles,  promoted  from 
ranks  to  Sergeant-Major  and  Lieutenant;  Lieutenant  A.  A. 
McKethan,  promoted  from  ranks,  wounded  at  Petersburg  17 
June,  1864. 

Company  C — Captain  W.  A.  Allen,  promoted  to  Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel on  organization,  resigned.  Lieutenant  Robert 
James,  wounded  and  retired ;  Lieutenant  S.  M.  Stanford, 
promoted  to  Captain,  resigned  in  1864;  Lieutenant  E.  L. 
Watson,  promoted  to  Captain,  surrendered  at  Bush  Hill,  N". 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  219 

C. ;  Lieutenant  H.  V.  Houston ;  Lieutenant  J,  G.  Branch, 
resigned  in  1863  ;  Lieutenant  A.  M.  Sullivan,  promoted  from 
Sergeant,  wounded  at  Kinston  1865. 

Company  D — Captain  J.  R.  McDonald,  promoted  to 
Major,  captured  at  Cold  Harbor.  Lieutenant  R.  J.  Mc- 
Eachem,  promoted  to  Captain,  killed  at  Cold  Harbor ;  Lieu- 
tenant J.  D.  Malloy,  promoted  to  Captain,  wounded  at  Bat- 
tery Wagner  18  July,  1863,  captured  at  Drewry's  Bluff  16 
May,  1864;  Lieutenant  J.  B.  McCallum,  killed  at  Drewry's 
Bluff  16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  Hector  McEachern,  wound- 
ed and  captured  at  Drewry's  Bluff ;  Lieutenant  F.  S.  Currie, 
wounded  at  Fort  Harrison  30  September,  1864;  Lieutenant 
W.  R.  Boone,  promoted  from  ranks,  captured  August  1864. 

Company  E* — Captain  W.  P.  Moore,  resigned  in  Fall  of 
1862.  Lieutenant  Willis  H.  Pope,  promoted  to  Captain, 
killed  at  Drewry's  Bluff  16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  A.  J. 
Ashley,  promoted  to  Captain,  died  of  wounds ;  Lieutenant 
J.  P.  Pitman,  promoted  to  First  Lieutenant,  captured  30 
September,  1864;  Lieutenant  F.  F.  Floyd,  captured  10  June, 
1864;  Lieutenant  W.  A.  Bullock,  captured  19  August,  1864; 
Lieutenant  Giles  W.  Thompson,  killed  at  Battery  Wagner 
18  July,  1863. 

Company  F — Captain  — .  — .  Walters,  resigned  during 
spring  of  1863 ;  Captain  W.  S.  ISTorment,  transferred  from 
the  Eighteenth  Regiment,  severely  wounded  at  Fort  Harrison 
30  September,  1864.  Lieutenant  A.  C.  Fulmore;  Lieuten- 
ant G.  P.  Higley,  captured  at  Cold  Harbor;  Lieutenant  J, 
W.  Hartman,  wounded,  don't  remember  place  or  date. 

Company  G- — Captain  J.  W.  Lippitt,  pulled  through  safe, 
commanded  the  regiment  at  the  surrender  at  Bush  Hill,  1^.  C. 
Lieutenant  S.  R.  Chinnis,  resigned  during  the  winter  of 
1862  or  1863  ;  Lieutenant  Yopp  ;  Lieutenant  Jacob  A.  Evans, 
wounded  16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  T.  B.  Lippitt,  pulled 
through  safe;  Lieutenant  Ben.  A.  Cowan,  pulled  through 

Company  H — Captain  J.  R.  Kelly,  resigned  in  1862. 
Lieutenant  S.  W.  Maultsby,  promoted  to  Captain,  severely 
wounded  16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  Lennon,  resigned  in 
1862;    Lieutenant    Jacob    Bamberger;    Lieutenant    J.    A. 

220  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

Meares,  wounded  at  Fort  Harrison  80  September,  1864; 
Lieutenant  A.  M.  Thompson,  pulled  through  safe;  Lieuten- 
ant Jordan  Huglies. 

Company  I — Captain  Hector  McKethan,  elected  Major  on 
organization,  promoted  to  Lieutenant-Colonel  and  afterwards 
to  Colonel,  wounded  17  June,  1864.  Lieutenant  George 
Sloan,  promoted  to  Captain,  slightly  wounded  16  May,  1864, 
captured  1  June,  1864;  Lieutenant  J.  A.  McArthur,  wounded 
and  captured  16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  C.  T.  Guy,  pro- 
moted from  Sergeant,  pulled  through  safe ;  Lieutenant  J.  H. 
Taylor,  promoted  to  Adjutant  last  year  of  the  war. 

Company  K — Captain  J.  B.  Underwood,  resigned  in  1863. 
Lieutenant  W.  F.  Murphy,  promoted  to  Captain,  captured 
16  May,  1864;  Lieutenant  Solomon  Boykin,  killed  at  jSTeuse 
river  bridge  17  December,  1862;  Lieutenant  E.  T.  Mc- 
Kethan, transferred  to  General  Hoke's  staff,  and  afterwards 
assigned  to  light  duty  on  account  of  loss  of  health ;  Lieuten- 
ant Alexander  Elliott,  killed  at  Cold  Harbor  1  June,  1864; 
Lieutenant  J.  J.  Tew,  pulled  through  safe ;  Lieutenant  Eli 
Dudley,  wounded,  but  time  and  place  not  remembered. 

I  am  indebted  to  comrades  Private  Stephen  J.  Cobb,  of 
Company  D,  (Captain  of  Company  F,  Second  North  Caro- 
lina Volunteers  Spanish-American  War),  and  to  Sergeant 
D.  G.  McLellan,  of  Company  I,  for  the  following  statistics  in 
their  respective  companies : 


Total  enlistments,  151.  Killed:  Officers  1,  men  10,  total 
11.  Died  of  w'ounds:  Officers  1,  men  10;  total  11.  Wound- 
ed: Officers  3,  men  58;  total  61.  Captured:  Officers  3,  men 
20;  total  23.  Total,  officers  8,  men  98;  gi-and  total,  106. 
Of  the  twenty  enlisted  men  reported  as  captured,  thirteen 
died  in  prison. 


KiJlcfi:  Officers  0,  non-commissioned  officers  2,  men  43; 
total,  45.  W(>un»l(Ml :  Officers  2,  non-commissioned  officers 
3,  men  4S ;  total,  53.  Captured :  Officers  2,  non-commis- 
sioned officers  3,  men  24 ;  total,  29.  Total,  officers  4,  non- 
conmiissioned  officers  8,  men  115  ;  grand  total,  127. 

Fifty-First  Regiment.  221 

This  company  sustained  a  loss  of  twenty-nine  men  in  the 
charge  on  16  May,  1864,  exclusive  of  the  few  captured  who 
were  not  wounded. 

The  enemy  overnm  and  captured  our  picket  line  just  be- 
fore the  charge  and  our  loss  in  prisoners  was  due  to  that  fact. 
Tht;y  were  not  lost  in  the  assault. 

A.  A.  McKethan. 
Paybtteville,  N.  C, 

26  April,  1901. 




1.    Wm.  W.  Carmichael,  1st  Lt.,  Co.  F.       2.    Leroy  S.  Elliott,  Private,  Co  K. 


By  JOHN  H.  ROBINSON,  Adjutant. 

The  Fifty-second  Regiment  of  North  Carolina  Troops  was 
organized  at  Camp  Mangum  (camp  of  instruction),  near 
Raleigh,  on  22  April,  1862,  and  was  composed  of  ten  compa- 
nies of  infantry,  as  follows: 

Company  A — From  Cabarrus  County — Captain,  George 
A.  Propst;  First  Lieutenant,  John  M.  Alexander;  Second 
Lieutenant,  Phillip  A.  Correll,  Jr. ;  Second  Lieutenant,  Jas. 
A.  Black;  First  Sergeant,  Jas.  M.  Cook;  Second  Sergeant, 
Joseph  C.  Hill;  Third  Sergeant,  Alexander  F.  Hurley; 
Fourth  Sergeant,  John  W.  Felter ;  Fifth  Sergeant,  Leroy  W. 
Pope;  First  Corporal,  George  C.  Blume;  Second  Corpord, 
George  H.  Brown ;  Third  Corporal,  Richard  F.  Cook ;  Fourth 
Corporal,  George  A.  Misenheimer ;  and  100  privates. 

Company  B — From  Randolph  County — Captain,  James 
F.  Foulkes ;  First  Lieutenant,  Jesse  K.  Kyle ;  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, John  H.  Robinson,  Jr. ;  Second  Lieutenant,  W.  E. 
Kyle.  The  officers  of  this  company  were  all  from  Fayette- 
ville.  First  Sergeant,  Calvin  J.  Rush;  Second  Sergeant, 
Lindsay  C.  Hardister;  Third  Sergeant,  Calvin  B.  Lewis; 
Fourth  Sergeant,  Alvin  Bingham;  Fifth  Sergeant,  William 
N.  Glasgow;  First  Corporal,  Reuben  C.  Fesmire;  Second 
Corporal,  Reuben  Lowdermilk;  Third  Corporal,  Alpheus 
Gallihara;  Fourth  Corporal,  George  W.  Cooper;  and  123 

Company  C — From  Gates  and  Chowan  Counties — Cap- 
tain, Julian  Gilliam;  First  Lieutenant,  George  Gilliam; 
Second  Lieutenant,  John  Gatling,  Junior;  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, J.  K  Harrell;  First  Sergeant,  Job  Hofier;  Second 
Sergeant,  James  J.  Floyd;  Third  Sergeant,  David  W.  Par- 
ker; Fourth  Sergeant,  Caleb  M.  Hayes;  First  Corporal, 
Richard  Arnold ;  Second  Corporal,  William  O.  Hofler ;  Third 

224  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

Corporal,    Peterson    Hofler;    Fourth    Corporal,    Thomas    J. 
Monroe ;  and  93  privates. 

Company  I) — From  Stokes  County — (^aptain,  Leonidas 
R.  Gibson;  First  Lieutenant,  Isaac  Nelson;  Second  Lieuten- 
ant, Samuel  IL  Rierson ;  First  Sergeant,  A.  C.  Myers ;  Sec- 
ond Sergeant,  John  H.  Nelson ;  Third  Sergeant,  D.  P.  Tut- 
tle ;  Fourth  Sergeant,  Phillip  A.  James ;  Fifth  Sergeant,  J. 
F.  Landers;  First  Corporal,  John  M.  Alle;  Second  Coi-poral, 
J.  W.  Tuttle ;  Third  (^orporal,  Charies  M.  Williams ;  and  80 

Company  E — From  Richmond  County — Captain,  Ben- 
jamin F.  Little;  First  Lieutenant,  Milton  S.  Austin;  Second 
Lieutenant,  M.  B.  McDonald ;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant, 
Thos.  R.  Baldwin ;  First  Sergeant,  John  W.  Ewing ;  Second 
Sergeant,  John  H.  Nichols ;  Third  Sergeant,  Thomas  R.  Ca- 
pel ;  Fourth  Sergeant,  Isaac  Gatelej ;  Fifth  Sergeant,  R,  F. 
Gibson ;  First  Corporal,  S.  C.  Crouch ;  Second  Corporal,  D. 
O.  Gray ;  Third  Corporal,  William  Kennedy ;  Fourth  Cor- 
poral, John  F.  Woods;  and  120  privates. 

Company  F — From  Wilhes  County — Captain,  Marcus  A. 
Parks ;  First  Lieutenant,  Nathaniel  A.  Foster ;  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, William  W.  Carmichael ;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant, 
J.  J.  Parlier ;  First  Sergeant,  Joseph  G.  Hall ;  Second  Ser- 
geant E.  R.  Vannoy ;  Third  Sergeant,  William  TI.  Foster, 
Fourth  Sergeant,  James  P.  Warren ;  Fifth  Sergeant,  Charles 
Carlton ;  First  Corporal,  James  P.  Gilreath ;  Second  Corpor- 
al, Daniel  Wilcox;  Third  Corporal,  Orrin  J.  Harris;  Fourth 
Corporal,  Zenah  A.  Harris;  and  160  privates. 

Company  G — From  Lincoln  County — Captain,  Joseph 
B.  Shelton ;  First  Lieutenant,  James  M.  Kincaid ;  Second 
Lieutenant,  J.  D.  Wells ;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant,  Ilaniel 
M.  Asbury ;  First  Sergeant,  William  D.  Thompson ;  Second 
Sergeant,  John  W.  Lilly ;  Third  Sergeant,  Frederick  Linehar- 
ger;  Fourth  Sergeant,  Thomas  B.  Tliom])son ;  Fifth  Ser- 
geant, John  F.  Little;  First  Corporal,  ]\Ioses  H.  Caldwell; 
Second  Corporal,  Albert  M.  Nixon ;  Third  Corporal,  W.  G. 
P.  Houston;  Fourth  Corporal,  William  Little;  and  116  pri- 

Company  H — From  Lincoln  Cotinty — Captain,  Eric  Er- 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  225 

son  ;  First  Lieutenant,  William  A.  Sununerson ;  Second  Lien- 
tenant,  Lawson  A.  Bellinger ;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant,  Wil- 
liam R.  Arents ;  First  Sergeant,  James  A.  Patterson;  Second 
Sergeant,  Peter  S.  Beal ;  Third  Sergeant,  Ephraim  Garrison ; 
Fourth  Sergeant,  John  C.  McCall ;  Fifth  Sergeant,  Samuel 
H.  Randleman ;  First  Corporal,  Lafayette  Lof tin ;  Second 
Corporal,  John  C.  Goodson ;  Third  Corporal,  John  C.  Del- 
linger;  Fourth  Corporal,  Richard  McCorkle;  and  125  pri- 

CoisiPANY  I — From  Sternly  County — Captain,  George  C 
McCain ;  First  Lieutenant,  James  D.  Hearne ;  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, Samuel  S.  Lilly ;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant,  Willis 
Randall ;  First  Sergeant,  B.  K.  Crowell ;  Second  Sergeant^ 
James  M.  McCorkle ;  Third  Sergeant,  George  P.  Parker ; 
Fourth  Sergeant,  H.  Clay  Turner;  Fifth  Sergeant,  Reuben 
Harris ;  First  Corporal,  D.  D.  Rogers ;  Second  Corporal,  Ben- 
jamin P.  Austin  ;  Third  Corporal,  William  A.  Smith  ;  Fourth 
Corporal,  Wm.  D.  A.  Mason;  and  112  privates. 

Company  K — From  Forsyth  County — Captain,  Julius  C. 
Blackburn ;  First  Lieutenant,  Junius  W.  Goslin ;  Second 
Lieutenant,  Romulus  M.  Cox;  Junior  Second  Lieutenant, 
Virgil  H.  Walker ;  First  Sergeant,  John  W.  Beck ;  Second 
Sergeant,  John  M.  Crews ;  Third  Sergeant,  Gideon  E.  Clay- 
ton ;  Fourth  Sergeant,  William  P.  Dawson ;  First  Corporal, 
James  R.  Ingram ;  Second  Corporal,  Lauriston  F.  Elliot ; 
Third  Corporal,  Thomas  R.  Davis ;  Fourth  Corporal,  Eph- 
raim B.  Terry;  and  100  privates. 

These  companies  were  organized  as  the  Fifty-second  j^orth 
Carolina  Regiment  on  22  April,  1862,  the  following  field 
officers  being  elected : 

James  K.  Marshall^  Colonel. 
Marcus  A.  Parks^  Lieutenant-Colonel. 
John  Q.  Richardson^  Major. 
Subsequently  the  following  Staff  was  appointed : 
John  Gatling,  Adjutant. 

James  M.  McCorkle^  Assistant  Quartermaster. 
George  H.  Coke^  Assistant  Commissary. 
James  F.  Foulkes,  Surgeon. 

-220  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'05. 

AViLLiAM  H.   Lilly,  Assistant   Surgeon. 
-H.  Clay  Turner^  Sergeant  Major. 
^Valter  R.  Russell,  Quartermaster  Sergeant. 
W.  F.  Brookshire,  Commissary  Sergeant. 
E.  J.  DeBerry,  Hospital  Steward. 
J .  R.  Pepper,  Ordnance  Sergeant. 

Musicians,  Charles  DeCamp,  J.  H.  C.  Pearce,  R.  F.  War- 
ren and  W.  II.  Shaw. 

Captain  Marcus  A.  Parks,  of  Company  F,  having  been 
promoted  to  Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the  regiment,  all  of 
the  officers  of  this  company  were  advanced  one  grade,  and 
Sergeant  Joseph  G-  Hall  was  promot-ed  to  the  Second  Lieuten- 
ancy to  fill  the  vacancy. 

Upon  the  completion  of  the  organization  of  the  regiment,  it 
was  assigned  to  Brigadier-General  J.  G.  Martin's  Brigade. 
About  1  June  the  regiment  was  moved  from  the  camp  of  in- 
struction hy  rail  to  a  point  in  Lenoir  county  on  the  railroad, 
near  where  the  village  of  LaGrange  now  stands,  and  went  into 

We  named  this  encampment  "Camp  Black  Jack,"  and  here 
we  remained  about  a  week  or  ten  days,  engaged  in  drilling 
and  performing  other  camp  duties.  At  the  expiration  of  that 
time  the  command  was  moved  nearer  Kinston,  where  we  had 
more  suitable  ground,  and  this  encampment  was  called 
"Camp  Johnston,"  at  which  point  the  regiment  remained, 
di'illing  daily,  until  tlie  16th,  when  it  was  ordered  to  do  picket 
duty  about  five  miles  below  Kinston.  The  writer  and  a  Lieu- 
tenant being  detailed  to  remain  at  camp  and  care  for  the  sick 
(of  whom  there  were  quite  a  number  at  that  time,  suffering 
with  measles  and  colds),  and  giiard  the  camp,  did  not  par- 
ticipate in  this,  the  first  duty  performed  by  the  regiment  in 
the  field.  The  regiment  continued  in  the  discharge  of  this 
duty  until  relieved  by  other  troops  on  the  24th,  when  it  re- 
turned to  camp  and  resumed  its  regular  routine  duties,  with 
daily  drillings  of  the  officers  as  well  as  the  men. 

On  the  afternoon  of  30  June,  orders  were  received  to  cook 
all  the  rations  on  hand  and  be  ready  to  move  at  an  hour's  no- 
tice, whereupon  all  was  bustle  in  the  camp  and  the  orders 
were  promptly  complied  with.     The  regiment  moved  late  in 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  227 

the  afternoon,  taking  the  cars  to  Kinston,  and  thence  march- 
ing about  five  miles  below  the  town  on  the  road  leading  to 
New  Bern,  to  meet  a  column  of  the  enemy  advancing  in  our 
direction.  Night  coming  on,  the  regiment  bivouacked  by  the 
roadside,  but  the  enemy,  having  received  information  of  our 
movements,  retraced  his  steps  in  the  direction  of  New  Bern, 
and,  in  consequence.  General  Martin  sent  a  courier  during 
the  night  to  Colonel  Marshall,  ordering  him  to  return  to 
camp ;  accordingly  the  regiment  began  its  march  early  next 
morning  and  reached  camp  in  the  forenoon  of  1  July.  Rest- 
ing this  day,  we  resumed  our  drillings  on  the  2d  and  con- 
tinued our  routine  work  until  the  afternoon  of  the  5th,  when 
orders  were  received  to  cook  three  days'  rations  and  be  ready 
to  move  at  a  moment's  notice.  These  orders  having  been 
promptly  and  cheerfully  complied  with,  we  were  kept  in  sus- 
pense until  Tuesday  evening,  the  8th,  when  we  boarded  the 
train  for  the  half-way  station  on  the  Petersburg  &  Richmond 
Railroad,  reaching  that  point  about  daylight  Friday  morning, 
the  11th,  having  been  delayed  en  route  by  an  ex- 
press train  derailed  on  the  track  ahead  of  us  Tuesday 
night,  and  awaited  transportation  at  Petersburg.  We 
camped  temporarily  at  that  point  until  the  14th,  on  which 
date  we  marched  to  Drewry's  Bluff,  going  regularly  into 
camp  at  this  place,  and  naming  our  encampment  "Camp 
Campbell."  Here  we  were  engaged  in  work  upon  fortifica- 
tions, drilling  and  the  various  duties  of  the  camp. 

Captain  James  F.  Foulkes,  of  Company  B,  having  re- 
signed in  order  to  accept  his  commission  as  Surgeon  of  the 
regiment,  on  2  July  the  officers  of  this  company  were  each 
promoted  one  grade  and  on  21  July,  Sergeant  Lindsay  C. 
Ilardister  was  promoted  to  Second  Lieutenant.  The  regi- 
ment continued  at  this  camp  until  the  morning  of  20  Au- 
gust, when  we  broke  camp  at  daylight  and  marched  to  Peters- 
burg, Va.,  to  await  orders.  Here  we  went  into  camp  about 
two  miles  east  of  the  city  and  called  this  encampment  "Camp 

On  22  August,  Lieutenant  Lindsay  C.  Hardister,  of  Com- 
pany B,  died  in  his  tent  at  Camp  Campbell,  after  an  illness 
of  a  few  days.     About  the  26th,  the  regiment  was  trans- 

228  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

ferred  to  General  J.  Johnston  Pettigrew's  Brigade.  On  the 
28th  Captain  Joseph  B.  Shelton,  of  Company  G,  resigned, 
and  the  officers  of  this  company  were  each  promoted  one 
grade,  and  Corporal  R.  B.  B.  Houston  was  promoted  to  Sec- 
ond Lieutenant  of  this  company.  On  28  October,  James  W. 
Huske  was  transferred  from  Captain  James  McNeill's  com- 
pany of  cavalry  to  Company  B,  and  promoted  to  Second  Lieu- 
tenant to  fill  a  vacancy  caused  by  the  death  of  Lieutenant  Har- 

The  regiment  remained  at  Camp  French,  doing  work  on 
fortifications,  drilling,  etc,  etc.,  until  2  November,  when  it 
was  moved  to  the  vicinity  of  Franklin,  Va.,  on  the  Black 
Water  river,  reaching  this  point  on  the  following  evening. 
We  were  placed  at  Joyner's  Ford  on  picket  duty  and  re- 
mained there  until  15  November,  when  we  moved  and  went 
into  camp  at  Black  Creek  Church,  Southampton  county,  Va., 
which  we  reached  during  the  afternoon  of  the  same  day. 
While  occupying  this  camp  we  were  engaged  in  picketing  the 
Blackwater  at  several  points. 

On  the  18th  the  enemy  advanced  with  a  force  of  cavalry 
and  infantry  and  made  an  attempt  to  cross  the  river  at  Joy- 
ner's Ford,  which  point  was  held  by  a  detail  of  an  officer 
and  twenty  men.  The  attack  was  first  made  by  a  body  of 
cavalry,  which  was  driven  back  by  our  picket.  They  were 
reinforced  by  a  body  of  infantry  and  made  a  second  attack, 
in  which  they  were  successful  in  forcing  a  passage,  our  men 
retreating;  not,  however,  until  a  messenger  had  been  sent  to 
Colonel  Marshall,  informing  him  of  the  attack  and  the  neces- 
sary retreat  of  his  men.  Immediately  upon  the  receipt  of 
this  information  the  Colonel  moved  at  once  with  his  regiment 
to  the  support  of  his  men,  marching  about  three  miles.  When 
in  the  neighborhood  of  the  ford,  he  was  told  that  a  body  of 
about  300  cavalry  had  crossed  the  river,  and  was  occupying 
the  camp  whicli  wo  had  left  on  tlie  15th.  The  regiment  was 
hurried  forward,  and  on  reaching  a  position  which  com- 
manded a  view  of  the  grounds,  said  to  be  held  by  the  enemy, 
was  halted.  No  enemy  was  to  be  seen,  although  they  could 
be  distinctly  heard  giving  commands.  Skirmishers  were 
thrown  forward  and  advanced,  but  the  enemy  declined  an 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  229 

engagement  and  recrossed  the  river.  Having  re-established 
our  picket  post  at  Jojner's  Ford  and  strengthened  it,  the  reg- 
iment returned  to  camp. 

After  crossing  the  river  the  enemy's  cavalry  moved  in  the 
direction  of  Franklin ;  and,  reaching  a  point  from  which  they 
could  shell  the  town,  amused  themselves  with  this  com^- 
ardly  occupation  for  an  hour  or  more,  the  only  result  of  which 
was  the  wounding  of  two  men  of  the  Eleventh  ISTorth  Caro- 
lina Regiment  stationed  there. 

On  the  26th,  Captain  George  A.  Propst,  of  Company  A, 
having  resigned,  the  officers  of  this  company  were  promoted 
one  grade  each.  Lieutenants  P.  A.  Correll  and  James  A. 
Black  having  resigned,  Sergeants  James  A.  Cook  and  J.  C. 
Hill  were  promoted  to  fill  the  vacancies. 

The  regiment  continued  to  do  picket  duty  along  the  Black- 
water  river,  in  the  vicinity  of  Franklin,  until  16  December. 
About  1  ]Srovember,  Captain  James  M.  McCorkle  resig-ned  the 
office  of  Assistant  Quartermaster,  and  Adjutant  John  Gat- 
ling  was  appointed  to  this  office.  In  consequence  of  this  ap- 
pointment the  office  of  Adjutant  was  vacant  and  Lieutenant 
John  H.  Robinson,  of  Company  B,  was  promoted  to  this  po- 

On  16  December  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  proceed  im- 
mediately to  Goldsboro,  N.  C,  and  in  obedience  to  this  order 
we  took  the  cars  at  Franklin  and  reached  Goldsboro  some 
time  after  midnight,  and  reported  to  General  G.  W.  Smith, 
who  was  in  command  of  this  department.  The  Colonel  was 
ordered  to  report  with  his  regiment  to  General  Thomas  L. 
Clingman,  Avho  commanded  on  the  south  side  of  the  Neuse 
river.  The  regiment  was  at  once  conveyed  by  train  across 
the  river  and  reported  as  instructed.  General  Clingman  or- 
dered that  the  men  should  rest  where  they  had  quit  the  train, 
at  a  point  on  the  Wilmington  &  Weldon  road,  about  one-half 
mile  from  the  railroad  bridge  over  the  ]^euse  River,  and  at 
the  intersection  of  the  county  road  and  railroad. 


About  sunrise  on  the  morning  of  the  17th  scouts  came  in 
and  reported  the  enemy  advancing  from  the  direction  of  Kin- 

230  North  Carolina  Troops,    1S()1-'G5. 

ston  iiloiig  tlie  county  road  in  heavy  force.  Our  regiment 
was  at  once  formed  in  line  of  battle,  parallel  with  the  rail' 
road  and  across  the  county  road.  Holding  this  position  for 
the  space  of,  probably,  half  an  hour,  the  enemy  still  advanc- 
ing, Colonel  Marshall  was  ordered  to  proceed  to  the  railroad 
bridge  and  hold  it  all  hazard.  He  moved  his  regiment 
rapidly  along  the  railroad  track  by  the  left  flank,  and  imme- 
diately upon  arriving  at  the  bridge,  placed  his  command  to 
the  best  advantage  for  carrying  out  his  orders.  Shortly  after 
the  regiment  was  in  position  the  enemy  advanced  upon  us 
in  heavy  force.  One  column  approached  the  bridge  on  the 
east  side  of  the  railroad  and  up  the  river  bank,  attacking  our 
left  companies  with  great  vigor.  Another  approached  up 
the  railroad  track,  and  as  it  approached,  threw  out  a  force  on 
the  west  side  of  the  railroad.  The  regiment  fought  with 
great  spirit  and  very  gallantly,  but  the  force  was  so  vastly  su- 
perior in  number  that  the  left  of  the  regiment  was  driven 
back  and  the  enemy  advancing,  reached  the  bridge  and  ap- 
plied the  torch.  It  being  constructed  of  inflammable  mate- 
rial, was  soon  in  a  light  blaze  and  burned  rapidly.  Tn  the 
meantime  the  right  of  the  regiment  was  hotly  engaged,  and 
no  support  having  been  sent  to  our  relief,  and  the  colunm 
spoken  of  having  been  thrown  out  on  the  Avest  or  upper  side 
of  the  railroad  having  advanced  so  far  as  to  greatly  endanger 
our  successful  retreat,  the  regiment  was  moved  rapidly  up 
the  bank  of  the  river  in  the  direction  of  the  county  bridge, 
half  a  mile  or  more  above.  During  our  retreat  the  Fifty- 
first  Xorth  Carolina  Regiment,  which  now,  when  it  was  too 
late,  had  been  ordered  to  our  support,  mistaking  us  for  the 
enemy,  poured  a  volley  from  one  company  into  us,  not  doing 
any  damage,  liowever,  as  they  flred  across  an  angle  formed  by 
two  fences  and  shot  too  high.  At  this  point  tlie  regiment 

The  enemy,  apjiarcntly  satisfied  for  tlie  time  with  having 
accomplished  the  destruction  of  the  bridge,  fell  back  and 
took  position  on  a  commanding  liill  on  tlie  east,  or  lower  side 
of  the  railroad,  about  five  or  six  hundred  yards  from  the  site 
of  the  lu'idgc.  Hoping  to  dislodge  the  enemy,  an  attack  was 
made  upon  liis  lines  during  the  afternoon. 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  231 

General  Clingman  foiined  his  infantry  line,  composed  of 
the  Fifty-first  and  Fifty-second  ITorth  Carolina  Regiments, 
under  the  immediate  command  of  Colonel  Marshall,  in  a 
skirt  of  woods  on  the  west  of  the  railroad,  and  about  500  yards 
from  it.  While  in  this  position  we  were  subjected  to  a  very 
heavy  shelling  from  the  enemy's  battery  of  four  guns.  Leav- 
ing his  infantry  in  line  as  stated,  General  Clingman  moved 
with  two  guns  of  Starr's  ITorth  Carolina  Battery  by  the 
county  road  to  attack  the  enemy  in  flank,  with  directions  to 
Colonel  Marshall  to  move  at  once  upon  the  enemy's  line  so 
soon  as  he  should  open  fire  upon  him.  While  the  infantry 
line  was  awaiting  developments  by  Starr's  guns,  General 
Evans,  of  South  Carolina,  rode  up  behind  the  infantry  line, 
and,  inquiring  what  troops  they  were,  ordered  an  immediate 
advance.  When  he  was  informed  of  General  Clingman's 
plan  of  attack,  and  suggestion  was  made  to  him  that  a  move- 
ment before  Starr  had  reached  his  position  would  disconcert 
all  of  General  Clingman's  plans  and  result  in  disaster,  he  re- 
plied :  ''I  rank  Clingman ;  move  forward  at  once ;  I  will  sup- 
port you  with  the  Holcombe;  Legion."  Of  course,  commands 
must  be  obeyed,  and  the  infantry  moved  out  at  double-quick, 
under  a  galling  fire  from  the  battery,  and  reached  the  rail- 
road embankment,  under  cover  of  which  it  halted  just  long 
enough  to  reform  its  line. 

Moving  again  quickly  over  the  railroad,  a  high  rail  fence 
was  encountered  which  had  to  be  climbed  in  the  face  of  a 
heavy  discharge  from  the  battery  of  grape  and  canister. 
Meanwhile  Starr's  guns  had  not  yet  come  into  position,  but, 
fortunately,  he  opened  fire  directly  after  the  infantry  had 
crossed  the  railroad,  and  drew  the  fire  of  a  portion  of  the  en- 
emy's battery,  the  line  still  advancing;  but  in  a  very  few 
moments  all  saw  the  hopelessness  of  the  attempt  to  drive  the 
enemy,  and  an  order  was  issued  to  fall  back,  and  for  all  who 
could  to  save  themselves  by  precipitate  retreat. 

Under  General  Clingman's  plan  of  attack  there  was  a  pos- 
sibility of  successfully  dislodging  the  enemy.  Under  Gen- 
eral Evans'  order  the  attack  was  simply  reckless  disregard 
of  the  lives  of  his  troops.  The  Adjutant  of  the  Fifty-second 
Regiment,  in  his  report  of  the  fight,  made  on  the  morning  of 

232  North  Carolina  Troops,  18G1-'G5. 

the  18th,  reported  8  killed  on  the  held,  58  wounded  and  13 
missing.  Of  the  latter,  subsequent  reports  show  some  of 
them  to  have  been  killed.  The  regiment  was  camped  in  the 
vicinity  of  Goldslxjro  until  about  the  23d,  Avhen  it  returned  to 
its  camp  on  the  Blackwater  near  Franklin,  Va. 

On  the  25th  orders  were  received  to  cook  three  days'  ra- 
tions and  be  prepared  to  move  at  daylight  on  the  26th.  Ac- 
cordingly rations  were  prepared  and  at  dawn  on  the  26th  we 
crossed  the  river,  entering  the  enemy's  territory  on  a  forag- 
ing expedition.  We  remained  for  five  days  and  procured  a 
considerable  quantity  of  forage,  and  this  having  been  success- 
fully accomplished,  General  Roger  A.  Pryor,  in  whose  com- 
mand we  were  serving  temporarily,  concluded  to  go  in  search 
of  the  enemy.  Marching  all  day,  we  arrived  at  Windsor  Sta- 
tion, on  the  Seaboard  Railroad,  about  night,  and  finding  the 
place  occupied  by  two  companies  of  the  enemy's  cavalry,  we 
opened  on  them  with  artillery,  when  they  made  a  hasty  re- 
treat. The  command  rested  here  for  the  night,  and  at  day- 
light next  morning  we  resumed  our  march,  reaching  camp  at 
midday  1  January,  1863. 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  3d  we  broke  camp  on  the  Black- 
water  and  marched  to  Garysburg,  N.  C,  where  we  took  cai's 
and  reached  Rocky  Mount  on  the  night  of  the  5th  at  11:30 
o'clock,  and  rejoined  General  Pettigrew,  to  the  delight  of 
the  entire  reginient.  On  the  26th  we  struck  our  tents  and 
moved  to  Magnolia,  reaching  that  point  on  the  evening  of  the 
same  day. 

We  pitched  our  cain]")  near  the  town,  where  we  were  en- 
gaged in  drilling  daily,  when  the  weather  permitted,  and 
during  our  sojourn  here  underwent  a  rigid  inspection  In-  the 
inspecting  ofiicer  of  the  brigade. 

On  the  morning  of  13  February  tbe  reginiout  took  \\p  its 
line  of  march  in  the  direction  of  Greenville,  and  on  the  1 6th, 
while  in  bivouac  ten  miles  from  Goldsboro,  orders  were  re- 
ceived to  remain  Avhere  we  were  and  await  further  orders.  On 
the  17th  we  were  directed  to  return  to  Goldsboro,  which  place 
we  reached  the  same  day,  and  went  into  camp  about  two  miles 
from  the  town.  While  here  we  were  engaged  in  drilling 
every  day.      March  Dth  we  broke  oam]i  and  the  regiment,  to- 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  233 

getber  with  other  troops,  started  on  a  march  for  the  purpose 
of  making  an  attack  upon  the  enemy  at  'New  Bern.  The  reg- 
iment arrived  near  the  town  at  daybreak  on  the  morning  of 
the  13th  and  supported  our  artillery,  which  opened  fire  upon 
the  enemy  at  sunrise.  An  artillery  duel  was  fought  nearly 
all  day  without  any  satisfactory  result,  when  the  troops  were 
withdrawn,  falling  back  to  a  position  about  three  miles  from 
the  town,  where  we  rested  until  12  o'clock  that  night. 


About  this  hour  we  resumed  our  line  of  march  and  halted 
nine  miles  from  the  town  at  daylight  next  morning.  In  this 
position  we  remained  until  3  o'clock  in  the  afteraoon,  when 
the  line  of  march  was  again  taken  up  and  continued  day  and 
night,  with  occasional  short  rests,  until  the  17th,  on  wdiich 
date  we  went  into  camp  near  the  town  of  Greenville.  On  the 
18th  we  were  again  on  the  march  and  arrived  at  Tranter's 
Creek,  about  eight  miles  from  Washington,  on  the  19th.  Re- 
maining here  for  a  day  or  two  we  returned  to  our  camp  near 
Greenville  on  or  about  the  23d.  Resting  here,  we  received 
orders  on  the  28th  to  be  ready  to  move  in  one  hour.  March- 
ing on  this  day,  we  reached  a  point  on  the  Pamlico  river, 
seven  miles  below  the  town  of  Washington,  on  Sunday,  March 
29th.  Here  w^e  erected  a  heavy  earthwork  on  a  bluff  on  the 
river  bank  and  called  it  Fort  Hill,  in  honor  of-  General  D. 
H.  Hill,  who  commanded  the  expedition.  The  Federal 
troops  occupying  the  town  of  Washington  were  reported  to 
be  running  short  of  both  ammunition  and  rations,  and  Fort 
Hill  was  erected  for  the  purpose  of  commanding  the  river 
and  preventing  communication  between  the  transports  and 
gunboats  in  the  river  below  and  the  garrison  of  the  town.  Our 
battery  was  composed  of  guns  of  light  calibre,  all  field  pieces 
and  not  able  to  cope  with  the  gunboats  in  the  river  below, 
which  gave  the  fort  heavy  shellings  each  day.  They  were 
suspicious  of  us,  however,  for  occasionally  two  Whit  worth 
guns  would  be  sent  down  from  the  battery  near  the  town,  and 
w^hile  they  were  in  battery,  we  would  open  on  them  at  long 
range,  and  on  several  occasions  inflicted  considerable  damage. 
When  these  guns  were  withdrawn,  the  gunboats  would  ap- 

234  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

proach  quite  near  and  open  on  the  fort  without  eliciting  anj 
reply.  This  puzzled  them,  and  they  were  timid  and  would 
not  venture  the  passage  of  the  fort. 

On  7  April,  in  obedience  to  orders,  Colonel  Marshall,  with 
six  companies  of  his  regiment,  moved  at  daylight  to  meet  a 
force  of  the  enemy,  reported  to  be  moving  on  our  rear  from 
New  Bern.  When  about  three  miles  from  the  fort  the  bat- 
talion was  halted  to  await  orders.  Remaining  until  night, 
it  was  learned  that  the  enemy  had  returned  in  the  direction  of 
New  Bern  and  the  command  returned  to  the  fort. 

On  the  10th  the  enemy  advanced  from  New  Bern  in  force 
by  the  Blount's  Mill  road,  and  the  regiment  was  moved  out 
to  meet  them  and  check  the  advance.  Forming  line  of  bat- 
tle at  Blount's  Mill,  we  awaited  their  attack,  and  after  a 
skirmish  of  abouttwo  hours  duration  they  retired  in  flight, 
felling  trees  across  the  road  to  retard  pursuit.  About  the 
13th  or  14th  the  boats  in  the  river  mustered  courage  to  at- 
tempt the  passage  of  the  fort.  Steaming  boldly  up,  one  of 
them  made  a  successful  passage,  as  we  had  none  but  the  field 
guns  in  the  battery,  and  although  we  fired  upon  her  repeat- 
edly in  her  passing,  the  damage,  if  any,  was  of  a  trifling  na- 

The  fort  having  failed  eventually  in  accomplishing  the  ob- 
ject for  which  it  had  been  constructed,  was  evacuated  on  the 
15th  and  all  the  troops  below  drawn  in  nearer  to  the  town. 

On  the  18th  orders  were  received  to  move  in  the  direction 
of  Kinston,  via  Ilookerton,  which  latter  place  we  reached  on 
the  10th,  Avhere  we  remained,  awaiting  orders  until  the  25th. 
Captain  Julian  Gilliam,  of  Company  C,  having  resigned  1 
April,  1803,  First  Lieutenant  George  Crilliam  was  promoted 
to  Captain  and  Second  Lieutenant  John  C  Warren  to  First 
Lieutenant.  Lieutenant  John  Gatling  liad  previously  been 
promoted  to  Adjutant,  and  1  Noveinl)('r,  1^0-2,  to  Captain 
and  Acting  Quartermaster. 

On  the  25th  the  regiment  marched  to  Kinston  and  remain- 
ed there  until  2  May,  when  we  took  the  train  for  Virginia, 
reaching  Taylorsville,  near  Hanover  Junction,  on  the  14th 
and  going  into  camp.  The  regiment  was  divided  for  some 
time  during  our  stay  at  this  point;   tliree  companies  were 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  235 

held  in  camp,  five  were  detached  for  duty  at  the  railroad 
bridge  over  the  South  Anna  river  on  the  Central  Railroad, 
engaged  in  building  fortifications,  and  two  were  doing  picket 
duty  at  the  Richmond  &  Fredericksburg  Railroad.  When 
not  engaged  in  building  fortifications  and  doing  picket  duty, 
the  regiment  was  drilled  daily,  and  it  was  in  the  finest  condi- 
tion when  we  began  our  march  to  join  the  Army  of  North- 
ern Virginia. 

About  1  June  Pettigrew's  Brigade  was  assigned  to  duty  in 
Major-General  Harry  Heth's  Division  of  General  A.  P.  Hill's 
Corps.  On  6  June  the  brigade  was  ordered  to  proceed  to 
Hamilton's  Crossing,  and  we  marched  until  late  on  Sunday 
evening,  the  7th,  when  we  were  directed  to  strike  the  railroad 
and  take  the  cars.  Obeying  this  order,  we  were  conveyed  by 
rail  the  remainder  of  the  distance  and  reached  the  Crossing 
at  4  o'clock  Monday  morning,  the  8th.  Upon  arrival,  we 
were  placed  in  position  on  the  Rappahannock  river,  about  six 
miles  below  Fredericksburg,  where  we  remained  in  line  of 
battle  until  10  June,  when  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  pro- 
ceed to  Hanover  Junction  to  relieve  General  Corse,  of  Pick- 
ett's Division.  Reaching  the  railroad  depot,  we  awaited 
transportation  for  several  hours.  Fortunately,  before  cars 
could  be  furnished  the  order  was  countermanded  and  the  reg- 
ment  directed  to  report  to  General  Pettigrew,  which  was  done 
on  the  same  night,  when  we  resumed  our  place  in  the  line  of 
battle  along  the  river. 


On  14  June  we  left  the  lines  in  front  of  Fredericksburg 
and  started  on  the  ever  memorable  Gettysburg  campaign.  By 
easy  marches  we  reached  Culpepper  Court  House  on  the  I7th. 
Continuing  the  march  on  the  18th,  passing  through  Berry- 
ville,  Charlestown,  and  other  villages,  we  reached  Shepherds- 
town  on  the  23d,  and  on  the  24th  waded  the  Potomac  at  this 
point,  thence  proceeding  leisurely  towards  Gettysburg,  pass- 
ing through  the  battlefield  of  Sharpsburg,  crossing  the  Antie- 
tam  river  on  the  stone  bridge,  on  through  Chambersburg,  Pa., 
and  halting  on  the  29th  at  Cashtown,  a  village  at  the  foot  of 
the  mountains  on  the  Baltimore  and  Chambersburg  pike,  and 

236  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

distant  about  six  miles  northwest  from  Gettysburg.  Here 
we  rested  until  the  morning  of  1  July.  On  the  evening  of 
the  29th  Company  B,  Fifty-second  Regiment,  under  com- 
mand of  First  Lieutenant  W.  E.  Kyle,  was  detailed  to  picket 
the  Emmettsburg  road  at  a  village  called  Millertown,  a]x)ut 
five  miles  to  the  right  of  our  camp,  and  during  the  night  had 
a  skirmish  with  a  picket  post  held  by  the  enemy's  cavalry. 
During  the  night  of  the  30th  the  company  was  withdrawn 
and  reported  at  camp. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  1  July  we  moved  in  the  direction 
of  Gettysburg.  Archer's  Brigade  of  Heth's  Division,  lead- 
ing the  advance,  encountered  a  heavy  force,  commanded  by 
General  Buford,  of  the  enemy's  cavalry,  on  the  Chambers- 
burg  road  about  one  mile  from  Gettysburg,  and  was  at  once 
engaged ;  the  cavalry,  pressing  Archer  very  luird,  and  skil- 
fully using  their  artillery,  checked  his  advance,  when  Petti- 
grew's  Brigade,  the  Fifty-second  holding  the  right  of  his  line, 
was  rapidly  advanced  to  his  support.  By  a  vigorous  attack 
we  succeeded  in  forcing  Buford's  line  back  in  the  direction  of 
the  town,  when,  being  reinforced  by  a  heavy  infantry  column, 
they  in  t\irn  checked  Heth's  advance.  By  this  time  Petti- 
grew's  Brigade  had  reached  Willoughby's  Run,  westward 
from  the  town  and  halted  ;  lying  here  under  a  heavy  shelling 
from  the  enemy's  guns,  and  greatly  annoyed  by  their  sharp- 
shooters, who  occupied,  at  this  time,  the  second  story  of  a 
brick  buihling  immediately  in  front  of  our  line,  we  awaited 
the  arrival  of  Anderson's  Division  of  Hill's  Corps  which  was 
moving  up  to  strengtiien  the  lines. 

About  noon  we  advanced  and  Pettigrew's  Brigade  encoun- 
tered the  enemy  in  an  open  field  when  a  most  desperate  fight 
ensued.  I  have  already  stated  that  Colonel  Marshall's  regi- 
ment held  the  right  of  Pettigrew's  line,  and  as  we  advanced 
through  the  open  field  our  right  flank  was  menaced  by  a  body 
of  the  enemy's  cavahy,  seeking  an  opportunity  to  charge  our 
lines.  While  on  the  advance  and  uiulcr  heavy  fire  Colonel 
Marshall  fornunl  his  regiment  in  s(iuare  to  giuu'd  against  at- 
tack from  this  body,  and  at  the  same  time  deployed  Comjnmy 
B,  under  comuiand  of  Lieutenant  W.  E.  Kyle,  to  protect  his 
flank.      'I'liis  gnlhnit  ofiicer  succeeded  in  holding  the  cavalry 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  237 

in  check  and  finally  drove  them  from  our  flank.  This 
maneuver  was  executed  by  the  regiment  as  promptly  and  ac- 
curately as  if  it  had  been  upon  its  drill  grounds.  The  fight- 
ing continued  with  unabated  fury  until  sundown,  when  we 
had  gradually,  but  steadily,  driven  the  enemy's  lines  back 
upon  the  towai,  but  at  a  tremendous  cost  of  valuable  lives. 
About  this  time — sundown  or  nearly  so — General  Pender  was 
sent  to  our  relief,  and  passing  over  our  lines  took  up  the  fight 
and  drove  the  enemy  into  and  through  the  town,  halting  only 
when  commanded  to  do  so,  and  thus  ended  the  first  day's  fight 
so  far  as  the  Fifty-second  Regiment  was  concerned. 

The  losses  in  the  brigade  were  appalling,  and  those  of  the 
Fifty-second  Regiment  very  heavy.  Here  the  gallant  Cap- 
tain McCain,  of  Company  I,  fell  dead,  pierced  by  a  minie 
ball,  while  leading  his  company  in  the  thickest  of  the  fight. 
About  the  same  time  the  young  and  chivalrous  Captain  Black- 
burn, of  Company  K,  fell  dead  at  the  head  of  his  company 
while  leading  his  men  to  victory.  In  addition  to  this  great 
loss  many  valuable  officers  w-ere  wounded  and  the  loss  in  the 
ranks  was  very  heavy.  At  this  time,  over  thirty-seven  years 
having  elapsed,  and  without  access  to  records,  I  am  unable 
to  state  the  casualties  with  accuracy. 

On  the  second  day  our  regiment  w^as  not  engaged.  A 
greater  portion  of  the  forenoon  of  the  3d  was  consumed  in 
perfecting  the  arrangements  for  the  assault  on  Cemetery  Hill. 
General  Lee  was  concentrating  his  batteries  along  the  brow 
of  Seminary  Ridge,  and  by  noon  had  massed  145  cannon  to 
open  the  attack.  To  reply  to  these  guns  the  enemy,  who  w^ere 
able  to  see  what  was  going  on  in  our  lines,  had  crowned 
Cemetery  Hill,  according  to  report,  with  80  cannon.  On  this 
day  Heth's  Division  was  imder  command  of  General  Petti- 
grew,  General  Heth  having  received  a  disabling  wound  the 
day  before. 

PettigTew's  Brigade  was  commanded  by  Colonel  Marshall, 
and  the  Fifty-second  Regiment  was  under  command  of  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Parks.  The  column  of  attack  was  lying  un- 
der the  crest  of  the  ridge  in  rear  of  our  guns.  Pettigrew's 
Brigade  occupied  the  position  in  line  immediately  to  the  left 
of  Archer,  who  joined  the  left  of  Kemper's  Brigade  of  Pick- 

238  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'65. 

ett's  Division,  which  occupied  the  right  of  the  column  of  at- 
tack. Between  1  and  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  our  guns 
opened  upon  the  enemy's  batteries  and  elicited  a  prompt  and 
spirited  reply.  This  artillery  duel  was  continued  for  the 
space  of  about  two  hours  without  intermission,  and  the  roar 
of  the  guns  and  bursting  of  shell  were  frightful  to  hear  and 
dreadful  to  contemplate.  A  slackening  of  the  enemy's  fire 
was  taken  advantage  of  to  advance  the  column  of  attack.  In 
obedience  to  orders  the  line  moved  gallantly  and  steadily  for- 
ward under  fire  of  our  gims  until  it  reached  a  point  beyond 
which  it  was  unsafe  to  fire  over  our  heads.  Steadily  the  ad- 
vance was  made,  and  as  steadily  and  coolly  met  with  a  mur- 
derous fire  from  the  enemy's  cannon,  charged  with  grape, 
shrapnel  and  canister.  Still  the  line  advanced,  and  at  every 
step  our  comrades  fell  on  every  side,  killed  or  wounded. 
Still  we  advanced  under  the  incessant  discharge  of  the  can- 
non, assisted  by  the  infantry's  rifles,  and  had  almost  attained 
success,  when  by  the  overpowering  force  and  almost  impreg- 
nable position  of  the  enemy,  our  lines  were  forced  back,  and 
then  the  slaughter  was  terrific.  We  fell  back  to  the  point 
from  which  the  attack  was  made,  rallying  all  whom  it  was 
possible  to  reach,  and  reforming  our  shattered  lines. 

In  this  fatal  charge  our  losses  were  very  heavy.  The 
gallant  Marshall,  pierced  through  the  body  while  leading 
his  brigade  to  the  attack,  fell  from  his  horse,  dead,  within 
a  very  short  distance  of  the  enemy's  lines.  In  his  death 
our  cause  sustained  a  very  great  loss.  Of  his  rank  the  Con- 
federate Army  had  few  equals  and  no  superiors.  His 
regiment  was  greatly  attached  to  him ;  his  uniform  courtesy, 
coupled  with  great  firmness  and  rigid  discipline  in 
camp,  as  well  as  on  the  march,  had  won  the  entire  confidence 
of  his  men,  and  all  mourned  him  as  a  brother  lost. 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Parks  was  shot  through  both  thighs,  and 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy,  and  our  brave 
and  dashing  Major  Richardson  sealed,  with  his  life,  his  de- 
votion to  the  cause  he  loved  so  well,  and  for  the  advance- 
ment of  whose  success  he  had  striven  so  zealously.  He  was 
instantly  killed  by  a  rifle  ball  while  leading  the  left  wing  of 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  239 

his  regiment.  Of  the  line  officers,  but  few  escaped  wounds  or 

The  regiment  was  commanded  on  the  4:th  by  Captain  Na- 
thaniel A.  Foster,  of  Company  F,  the  Junior  (^aptain  en- 
gaged in  the  fight.  The  Adjutant  of  the  regiment  reported 
the  lossas  in  tlie  engagements  of  the  first  and  third  days  as 
33  killed  on  the  field,  114  wounded  and  169  missing.  Of 
this  latter,  nearly  all  of  whom  fell  into  the  enemy's  hands,  it 
is  fair  to  presume  many  were  wounded. 

We  held  our  lines  during  the  night  of  the  3d  and  the  day 
of  the  4th,  strengthening  them  with  temporary  works,  and 
expecting  an  attack  by  the  Federal  army.  As  no  advance  was 
made  by  the  enemy.  General  Lee  began  to  retire  in  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Potomac  on  the  night  of  the  4th.  In  consequence 
of  the  death  of  our  field  officers  on  the  3d,  Captain  B.  F.  Lit- 
tle, of  Company  F,  was  commissioned  Lieutenant-Colonel, 
and  Captain  Eric  Erson,  of  Company  H,  was  commissioned 
Major,  the  officers  of  Companies  E  and  H  were  each  promoted 
one  grade,  as  were  also  the  officers  of  Companies  I  and  K,  in 
consequence  of  the  death  of  Captains  McCain  and  Blackburn. 
On  account  of  the  bad  roads  and  caution  observed  on  retiring, 
we  did  not  reach  Hagerstown,  Md.,  until  the  10th.  Finding 
the  waters  of  the  Potomac  so  much  swollen  from  recent  heavy 
rains  as  to  make  fording  impracticable,  and  General  Lee's 
pontoon  bridge  partially  destroyed,  we  halted  at  this  place. 
On  the  morning  of  the  11th  our  regiment  went  into  line  of 
battle  about  three  miles  from  the  town,  expecting  General 
Meade  would  attack  us  as  soon  as  he  had  come  up.  We  held 
this  line  until  the  night  of  the  13th,  with  occasional  skirmish- 
ing between  the  picket  lines.  During  this  halt  the  pontoon 
bridge  had  been  repaired  so  as  to  be  available,  and  was  thrown 
across  the  Potomac  at  Falling  Waters.  The  rain  had  been 
falling  nearly  every  day  since  we  began  to  fall  back  from 
Gettysburg,  and  consequently  the  roads  were  in  a  horrible 
condition.  During  the  13th  wagon  trains  were  put  in  mo- 
tion to  cross  the  river,  and  at  night  the  troops  from  our  por- 
tion of  the  line  were  withdrawn  and  marched  for  the  pontoon 
bridge,  but  the  roads  were  so  cut  up  by  the  heavy  wagon 

240  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

trains  and  the  artillery  as  to  make  tlieni  almost  impassable, 
and  our  march  was  necessarily  slow. 


To  Pettigrew's  Brigade  had  been  assigned  the  responsible 
duty  of  protecting  the  rear  of  the  army  while  crossing  the 
river.  The  march  had  been  so  retarded  by  the  difficulty  of 
getting  the  artillery  and  the  wagon  trains  forward  that  we  did 
not  reach  our  position  until  10  o'clock  Tuesday  morning,  14 
July.  General  PettigTew  chose  a  hill  by  the  roadside,  and 
between  one  and  two  miles  from  the  river,  for  his  position. 
There  he  formed  his  line  and  ordered  a  rest,  whereupon  the 
men  threw  themselves  upon  the  ground,  and  in  a  few 
moments  many  of  them,  responding  to  the  call  of  exhausted 
nature,  were  sound  asleep.  We  had  been  followed  by  a  large 
body  of  cavalry  which  had  not  yet  the  temerity  to  attack  us. 
While  resting,  as  stated,  awaiting  the  crossing  of  that  portion 
of  the  army  which  had  not  yet  succeeded  in  reaching  the 
pontoon,  a  squad  of  Federal  cavalry,  numbering  about  fifty 
men,  passing  through  a  skirt  of  woods  in  our  rear,  behind 
which  was  massed  a  division,  advanced  upon  us  at  a  trot  with 
sabres  drawn  and  rode  over  us  before  we  could  check  them. 
In  explanation  of  this  fact  it  should  be  stated  that  a  regiment 
of  our  cavalry  had  passed  us  going  to  the  rear  a  short  time 
before  for  the  purpose  of  crossing  the  river  at  Williarasport 
above,  but  we  thought  they  were  between  us  and  the  enemy. 

As  the  cavalry  body  approached,  the  men  were  waked  up 
and  called  to  arms,  but  some  of  the  superior  officers,  mistak- 
ing them  for  our  own  men,  ordered  the  men  not  to  fire,  and  it 
was  not  until  they  were  upon  us  that  the  error  was  seen ;  then 
the  bursting  of  caps  with  the  occasional  discharge  of  a  rifle, 
was  heard,  and  the  enemy  began  to  reap  the  reward  of  his 
rashness.  Having  ridden  over  our  lines,  they  Avere  now 
using  their  pistols  with  deadly  effect,  when  our  rifles  began 
to  explode  and  in  a  few  moments  all  of  the  squad  save  five  or 
six  who  made  their  escape,  were  either  killed,  wounded  or 
prisoners,  not  however,  before  General  Pettigrew  had  been 
mortally  wounded  by  one  of  the  party.  The  exposure  to  rain, 
to  which  we  had  been  subjected  for  so  many  days,  had  left  the 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  241 

rifles  of  our  men  in  such  bad  condition  tliat  but  few  would 
fire  at  first,  and  to  this  fact  is  attributed  the  losses  we  sus- 
tained— had  the  gams  of  our  men  exploded  when  first  tried, 
not  a  man  of  the  attacking  party  would  have  been  left  to  tell 
the  tale,  and  valuable  lives  would  have  been  saved.  This  en- 
gagement caused  a  general  advance  on  the  part  of  the  enemy, 
and  that  portion  of  General  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps  not  yet  over 
the  river  was  hurried  to  the  suppport  of  Pettigrew.  We 
formed  line  of  battle  to  meet  the  advance,  though  all  of  our 
artillery  having  passed  the  river,  we  had  none  in  line;  but 
skirmishing  with  the  enemy  and  fighting  and  falling  back,  we 
held  them  in  check  until  the  Avhole  army  had  crossed,  with  all 
of  the  wagons  and  artillery,  save  two  pieces,  the  horses  draw- 
ing which  had  become  so  exhausted  as  to  be  unable  to 
move  them,  and  before  fresh  horses  could  be  procured  the 
rear  of  the  army  had  passed  them.  The  whole  army  thus 
crossed  the  river  successfully  in  the  face  of  a  large  body  of  the 
enemy.  The  loss  in  our  regiment,  however,  was  considerable, 
its  commanding  officer,  Captain  Nathaniel  A.  Foster,  being 
among  the  number  captured. 

Upon  crossing  into  Virginia  we  took  up  our  line  of  march, 
passing  through  Martinsburg  to  Bunker  Hill  where  we  rested 
several  days.  Resuming  our  line  of  march,  passing  through 
Winchester,  we  crossed  the  Shenandoah  river  at  Front  Royal, 
and  thence  marched  by  way  of  Flint  Hill  to  Culpepper  Court 
House,  which  place  we  reached  on  the  25th,  and  went  into 
camp  about  one  mile  from  the  town.  Resting  until  Monday 
morning,  3  August,  we  moved  towards  Orange  Court  House, 
reaching  the  vicinity  of  the  town  on  the  5th,  and  there  went 
into  camp.  About  10  August  Colonel  William  Kirkland,  of 
the  Twenty-first  ]^orth  Carolina  Regiment,  was  promoted  to 
Brigadier-General  and  ordered  to  assume  command  of  our 
brigade,  and  henceforth  it  was  known  as  Kirkland's  Brigade. 


We  remained  in  our  camp  near  Orange  Court  House  until 

about  20  September,  doing  picket  duty  and  drilling  daily. 

On  the  20th  the  regiment  was  moved  to  Rapidan  Station  and 

placed  in  position,  together  with  the  remainder  of  the  brigade, 


242  North  Carolina  Trooi-s,   1801-'05. 

to  meet  an  expected  advance  of  General  Meade's  army.  On 
■B  October,  ISiJi],  we  left  our  line  at  Ilapidan  Station  with 
•a  view  of  flanking  the  enemy  and  giving  him  battle  at  Culpep- 
per Court  House,  but  we  were  not  sviccessful  in  bringing  on 
this  tiglit.  The  enemy,  learning  of  General  Lee's  move- 
>ftfents,  began  to  fall  back  towards  Centreville,  we  following 
in  hot  pursuit.  On  the  13th  the  Corps  of  A.  P.  Hill  had 
reacluMl  Warrenton,  Va.,  and  on  the  morning  of  the  14th  we 
moved  out  from  Warrenton  along  the  turnpike  road  to  New 
Ealtiuiore,  where  we  wheeled  to  the  right  in  pursuit  of  Gen- 
eral French,  who  was  just  ahead  and  retreating  very  rapidly, 
as  was  evidenced  by  the  beaten  tracks  on  both  sides  of  the 
road  over  which  his  troops  had  passed.  Reaching  the  hills  to 
the  westward  and  just  above  Bristoe  Station  in  the  after- 
noon, we  saw  the  rear  of  his  column  in  the  valley  just  beyond 
Broad  Kun  river.  He  had  escaped  us,  but  we  were  destined 
for  a  fight. 

About  the  time  of  our  reaching  Bristoe  Station  the  advance 
of  Warren's  Corps,  whom  General  Ewell  was  following  up 
the  railroad,  made  its  appearance  and  Cooke's  and  Kirkland's 
Brigades  were  formed  for  immediate  attack.  The  two  brig- 
ades, under  cover  of  artillery,  gallantly  advanced  against 
overwhelming  numbers  posted  behind  the  railroad  embank- 
ment. Everything  was  moving  smoothly  until  we  had 
reached  point  blank  range,  when  the  infantry  posted  behind 
the  railroad,  opened  a  withering  fire  upon  our  lines  which 
baited  and  were  forced  to  fall  back.  The  Fifty-second  and 
Eleventh  Tvegiments  moved  steadily  forward  and  sua'.eeded 
in  driving  the  eneni}^  immediately  in  their  front,  next  to  the 
railroad  bridge,  from  their  position.  About  the  time  we  had 
gained  the  road  in  our  front,  a  section  of  artillery  passed  rap- 
idly over  the  river,  and,  crossing  the  railroad  track,  unlim- 
bered,  preparatory  to  giving  us  a  raking  enfilading  shelling. 
Looking  for  our  support  on  the  right,  we  were  dismayed  to 
see  the  enemy  to  our  right  and  rear,  in  possession  of  the  field 
and  part  of  our  ai-tillory.  The  command  was  at  once  given  to 
fall  back  and  we  retreated  rapidly  and  successfully.  The 
Eifty-second  Begiment,  whose  losses  were  comparatively  few 
on  this  occasion,  had  three  killed  on  the    field,    twenty-one 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  243 

woimded  and  forty-two  missing.  General  Kirkland  was 
wounded  and  conveyed  from  the  field.  In  view  of  the  fact  that 
General  A.  P.  Hill  had  an  entire  army  corps  within  half  a 
mile,  and  the  remainder  of  Heth's  with  all  of  Wilcox's  Divis- 
ion, were  spectators,  the  lack  of  timely  reinforcements  was 
strange,  to  say  the  least  of  it.* 


We  bivouacked  upon  the  battlefield  during  the  night  of  the 
14th,  and  the  following  morning  fell  back  to  Rappahannock 
Station,  destroying  the  railroad  as  we  retreated,  tearing  up 
the  rails  which  we  heated  over  burning  piles  of  cross  ties  and 
twisted  so  as  to  render  them  useless  for  the  time  being.  Upon 
arrival  at  Rappahannock  Station  we  at  once  entered  upon 
picket  duty,  engaged  in  drilling  and  other  incidental  camp 
duty  until  7  November.  About  11  o'clock  Saturday  night, 
the  7th,  we  received  orders  to  cook  rations  and  be  ready  to 
move  at  a  moment's  notice.  At  the  time  we  supposed  the 
army  would  make  another  advance,  but  instead  we  fell  back 
to  a  line  on  the  Rapidan  river.  During  Sunday,  the  8th, 
we  were  in  line  of  battle  throughout  the  day,  expecting  an  at- 
tack, but  were  not  engaged.  On  the  9th  we  were  ordered  on 
picket  duty  at  Peyton's  Ford,  where  we  remained  until  the 
13th,  on  which  day  we  received  orders  to  cook  two  days' 
rations  and  be  ready  to  move  at  a  moment's  notice,  but  did 
not  receive  marching  orders  until  the  29th.  On  this  date  we 
left  camp  at  4  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and,  proceeding  by  the 
Orange  Court  House  and  Fredericksburg  road  to  a  point  near 
Vidiersville,  we  came  up  with  our  cavalry  engaged  in  a  skir- 
mish with  the  enemy.  Our  skirmishers  were  deployed  and 
thrown  forward,  engaging  the  enemy  until  nightfall,  and  we 
held  this  line  during  the  night.  The  remainder  of  the  army 
having  arrived  during  the  night.  General  Lee  formed  his  line 
of  battle  at  Mine  Run,  On  the  morning  of  the  30th  the  en- 
emy opened  his  artillery  on  portions  of  the  Confederate  line, 
and  we  confidently  expected  an  attack.     It  seems,  however. 

*  When  General  Lee  arrived  on  the  scene  of  A.  P.  Hill's  bloody  blun- 
der his  pointed  rebuke  was  "  nothing  remains  to  be  done,  General  Hill, 
except  to  bury  your  unfortunate  dead." — Ed. 

244  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

that  upon  an  inspection  of  General  Lee's  lines  General  Meade 
recognized  the  position  to  be  inipregiiable,  and,  declining  bat- 
tle, retired  behind  the  Rapidan  on  the  night  of  1  December, 

Onr  regiment  remained  at  tliis  point  until  Thursday,  3 
December,  when  we  returned  to  ("amp  Marshall,  our  winter 
quarters,  near  Orange  Court  House,  where  we  remained  em- 
ployed in  drilling  and  general  camp  duty  until  3  February, 
1864,  on  wliich  day  our  regiment  was  ordered  on  picket  duty 
on  the  Rapidan  river.  On  the  20th  General  Kirkland,  having 
recovered  from  his  wound  received  at  Bristoe  Station,  re- 
turned to  cam])  and  again  took  comnumd  of  his  brigade. 

During  the  month  of  March  Governor  Vance  paid  a  visit 
to  the  Nortli  Carolina  troops  in  the  Army  of  Northern  Vir- 
ginia and  made  addresses  to  the  several  brigades.  He  had  an 
appointment  to  speak  to  Cooke's  and  Kirkland's  Brigades, 
jointly,  on  the  29th,  but  on  account  of  the  very  bad  weather 
our  commands  were  deprived  of  the  pleasure  of  hearing  him. 
The  regiment,  having  been  in  winter  quarters  since  3  Febru- 
ary, on  27  April  vacated  the  cabins  and  moved  to  an  encamp- 
ment one  mile  distant.  As  sickness  prevailed  to  a  great  ex- 
tent about  this  time,  the  change  was  made  as  a  sanitary  meas- 
ure with  good  results. 


On  4  May  our  regiment  broke  camp  and  marched  by  the 
Orange  Court  House  and  Fredericksburg  plank  road,  reach- 
ing Vidiersville,  near  which  it  rested  for  the  night.  On  the 
5th  it  continued  to  march  in  the  direction  of  Fredericksburg, 
and  early  in  the  afternoon  reached  a  point  at  which  the  plank 
road  is  intersected  by  what  is  known  as  the  Brock  road ;  and 
here  General  Hill,  finding  the  enemy  in  his  front,  formed  his 
line  of  battle  extending  across  the  Plank  road.  About  this 
time  the  Fifty-second  Regiment  was  ordered  to  retrace  its 
steps  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  our  wagon  train,  which 
was  reported  to  be  threatened  by  the  enemy's  cavalry.  Ac- 
cordingly, we  proceeded  to  execute  this  command,  and,  having 
gone  as  far  as  Parker's  store,  about  four  miles  to  the  rear, 
were  informed  that  its  services  were  not  required.  Immedi- 
ately it  faced  about  and  returned  to  join  its  brigade.     In  the 

Fifty-Second  RegixMent.  245 

meantime  the  battle  had  beo;un,  and  as  we  approached  the 
lines  we  were  met  by  great  numbers  of  our  men  wounded  and 
seeking"  the  rear  for  shelter  and  relief.  These  men  were 
wounded  in  every  conceivable  manner — some  slightly,  others 
severely  and  not  a  few  mortally.  Nothing  daunted  by  this 
spectacle,  the  gallant  old  Fifty-second  moved  rapidly  forward 
and  took  its  position  in  the  brigade,  and  at  once  became  hotly 
engaged.  The  ground  over  which  we  were  fighting 
was  covered  with  dense  undergTowth,  and  the  enemy  could 
scarcely  be  seen,  in  many  places,  one  hundred  yards 
in  our  front.  From  the  time  we  joined  the  brigade,  which 
must  have  been  about  5  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
until  nightfall  there  was  one  continuous  roll  of  musketry, 
when  night  coming  on  put  a  stop  to  the  battle  for  this 
day.  The  regiment  spent  the  night  upon  the  ground  on 
which  it  had  ceased  to  fight  in  the  evening,  and  the  exhausted 
men  sought  what  rest  they  could. 

From  the  nature  of  the  ground  over  which  the  battle  had 
raged,  our  lines  had  become  very  much  disarranged,  and  in 
many  places  there  was  no  connection  with  our  troops  to  the 
right  or  left.  Longstreet,  it  was  known,  was  marching  to  re- 
lieve Hill's  Corps,  and  was  expected  to  be  up  by  12  o'clock 
that  night.  Possibly  for  this  reason  the  inexcusable  blunder 
of  not  re-establishing  our  lines  during  the  night  of  the  5th 
was  made. 

Longstreet  was  delayed  and  did  not  reach  us  at  the  expected 
time,  and  sunrise  of  the  6th  found  us  fighting  under  these 
great  disadvantages.  The  enemy  having  penetrated  our  lines 
at  one  of  these  gaps,  opened  fire  upon  the  Fifty-second  Regi- 
ment from  the  rear.  Finding  we  were  flanked  we  began  to 
fall  back,  fighting  as  we  retreated.  By  this  time  the  whole 
line  to  the  right  of  the  plank  road  was  being  forced  back  and 
the  safety  of  the  army  for  a  time  was  greatly  endangered. 
Longstreet  with  his  gallant  men  reached  the  field  about  this 
time ;  rapidly  forming  his  line,  he  met  the  advancing  lines  of 
the  enemy,  checked  them,  and  in  a  few  moments  was  rapidly 
driving  them  back  upon  their  own  lines,  and  thus  re-estab- 
lishing those  of  General  Hill. 

246  North  Carolina  Trooi's,   18G1-'65. 

spottsylvania  to  peteksbukg. 

Our  regiment  remained  in  line  of  battle  in  the  Wilder- 
ness until  the  evening  of  the  8th,  when  we  were  marched  to 
Spottsylvania  Court  House,  which  place  we  reached  on  the 
morning  of  the  9th  and  were  assigned  to  a  position  in  the  line 
to  the  left  of  the  court  house  where  we  began  immediately  to 
intrench  ourselves.  Here  we  remained  in  line  of  battle,  fight- 
ing at  intervals  and  constantly  exposed  to  heavy  shelling  from 
the  enemy's  battery.  Our  losses  since  the  5th  had  been 
heavy — Captain  Kyle  and  Lieutenant  Huske  wounded  among 
numbers  of  others,  and  on  the  11th  Captain  Leonidas  R.  Gib- 
son, of  Company  I,  was  killed.  In  consequence  of  his  death 
the  officers  of  this  company  were  each  promoted  one  grade. 

General  Grant  had  again  taken  up  his  movement  to  the 
left,  and  on  the  2 2d  we  were  withdrawn  from  our  lines  and 
moved  rapidly  in  the  direction  of  Hanover  Junction.  Cross- 
ing the  North  Anna  river  our  regiment  was  placed  in  line 
on  the  south  side  of  the  river  about  two  miles  from  the  junc- 
tion. General  Warren  having  crossed  the  river  at  Jericho 
Ford  on  the  23d,  was  met  by  Hill's  Corps  near  N^oel's  Sta- 
tion and  after  a  spirited  engagement  was  forced  to  halt  for 
the  day. 

After  this  the  regiment  resumed  its  place  in  the  line  of 
battle,  where  it  remained  until  the  31st,  when  it  was  moved 
ill  the  direction  of  Gaines'  ^lill,  which  point  it  reached  about 
noon  on  1  June.  Here  we  were  placed  in  line,  but  not  en- 
gaged until  the  2d,  when  we  participated  in  a  heavy  skinnish 
with  the  enemy.  In  this  fight  General  Kirkland  was  again 
\voundcd,  receiving  a  rifle  ball  through  the  thigh,  and  was 
taken  from  the  field.  In  consequence,  Colonel  George  H. 
Faribault,  of  tlie  Forty-seventh  Regiment,  was  in  comiiiand 
of  the  brigade.  On  the  afternoon  of  3  June  Ileth's  Division, 
occupying  the  left  of  General  Early's  line,  (he  was  com- 
manding A.  P.  Hill's  Corps  at  this  time),  was  twice  most 
vigorously  attacked,  but  the  enemy  was  handsomely  repulsed 
with  considerable  loss.  The  Fifty-second  Regiment  sus- 
tained its  part  of  these  attacks  with  its  accustomed  coolness 
and  spirit.  On  5  June,  for  the  first  time  since  leaving  Or- 
ange Court  House,  Ileth's  Division  was  resting,  awaiting  or- 

Fifty-Second  Regiment,  247 

ders.  Worn  down  with  fighting,  and  constant  marching  to 
meet  the  enemy's  advance,  the  men  greatly  enjoyed  this  much 
needed  repose. 


On  the  evening  of  the  9th,  the  regiment  was  ordered  to 
proceed  to  Bottom's  Bridge,  on  the  Chickahominy  river,  for 
picket  duty,  and  on  the  evening  of  the  10th  was  ordered  to 
join  the  brigade  in  the  line  on  the  following  morning. 
From  here  we  moved  to  White  Oak  Swamp,  reaching  that 
point  on  the  14th,  where  we  remained,  doing  picket  duty  until 
the  18th,  when  we  marched  for  Petersburg,  Va.,  reaching 
the  neighborhood  of  that  city  on  the  night  of  the  18th,  after  a 
dusty  and  very  fatiguing  march.  We  were  placed  in  line  of 
battle  on  the  south  side  of  Appomattox  river.  About  the 
25th  the  regiment  was  taken  from  the  trenches  and  marched 
about  four  miles  north  of  the  city  and  assigned  the  duty  of 
guarding  the  bridges  on  the  turnpike  and  railroad  over  Old 
Town  creek.  In  the  latter  part  of  July,  Colonel  William 
MacRae,  of  the  Fifteenth  North  Carolina  Regiment,  was 
made  Brigadier-General,  and  ordered  to  assume  command  of 
the  brigade.  Henceforward,  we  were  known  as  MacRae's 
Brigade.  We  remained  in  the  vicinity  of  Petersburg  until 
Wednesday,  27  July,  when  we  marched  to  Chaffin's  Bluff, 
reaching  that  point  Thursday  morning  after  a  very  tiresome 
tramp.  • 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  28th  our  skirmish  lines  were  heav- 
ily engaged  for  an  hour  or  two,  and  w^e  expected  an  attack 
upon  our  lines,  which  did  not  take  place.  We  remained 
here  in  line  until  the  30  th,  when  we  received  orders  to  move 
at  once  to  the  south  side  of  the  James  river.  We  marched  a 
distance  of  about  ten  miles  to  Rice's  Turnout  on  the  Rich- 
mond &  Petersburg  Railroad,  and  at  that  point  took  the  cars 
to  Petersburg,  and  occupied  our  position  in  the  intrench- 
ments.  At  this  point  we  remained  until  2  August,  when  we 
were  moved  further  to  the  left  and  placed  in  reserve.  On 
the  9th  we  relieved  General  Cooke  in  the  trenches,  our  line 
at  this  point  not  exceeding  200  yards  distance  from  the  en- 
emy's lines,  and  our  sharpshooters,  as  well  as  those  of  the  en- 

248  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'05. 

emy,  kept  up  a  constant  firing  both  night  and  day.  We  held 
this  line  until  the  13th,  when  we,  in  turn,  were  relieved,  and 
camped  temporarily  in  rear  of  our  lines  until  the  18th,  when 
we  were  moved  outside  the  lines  to  a  point  about  two  and  one- 
half  miles  southwest  from  Petersburg,  and  one  mile  east  of 
the  Petersburg  &  Weldon  Railroad,  where  we  had  been  sent 
to  confront  General  Warren,  who  was  pressing  for  the  rail- 
road. In  the  afternoon  we  made  a  sudden  and  vigorous  at- 
tack upon  Warren's  left  and  drove  him  back  about  one  mile, 
when  our  command  was  withdrawn.  By  the  evening  of  the 
20th  the  enemy  had  succeeded  in  gaining  possession  of  the 
railroad  and  intrenched  himself  at  a  point  about  one  mile 
south  of  Vaughn's  house,  at  what  we  called  the  Yellow  Tav- 
ern, located  on  the  railroad  about  four  miles  south  from 
Petersburg.  On  the  night  of  the  20th  we  were  withdrawn 
from  the  trenches  and  again  moved  to  the  south  of  the  city  to 
attack  the  enemy,  who  now  held  the  railroad.  Reporting  to 
General  Heth,  whom  we  found  at  Vaughn's  house,  before  day 
on  the  21st,  we  were  soon  in  line,  and  advanced  our  sharp- 
shooters'to  clear  the  front,  and  after  a  pretty  sharp  skirmish 
they  drove  the  enemy's  picket  lines  in.  Under  Pegram's 
guns,  we  advanced  to  the  attack ;  and,  after  having  driven  in 
two  lines  of  the  enemy  who  fell  back  under  cover  of  their 
batteries,  we  M'ere  halted  in  a  skirt  of  woods  about  half  way 
between  Pegram's  guns  in  our  roar  and  the  enemy's  batteries 
in  our  front,  and  between  the  two  we  were  subjected  to  a 
furious  shelling.  The  column  sent  to  attack  the  enemy  in 
flank  failing  to  come  up,  we  held  our  lines  until  night,  when 
we  were  withdrawn  and  retired  within  our  lines  of  intrench- 
ments.  On  the  24th  we  moved  out  to  our  works  and 
marched  for  Reams  Station,  halting  at  night  near  Arm- 
strong's Mills,  about  eight  miles  southeast  of  the  city.  Early 
on  the  morning  of  the  2r)th  we  resumed  the  march  and  halted 
at  a  point  :d)oiit  tliree  miles  from  Reams  Station. 

kea:v[S  STAT] ox. 

About  2  o'clock  an  attack  had  been  made  iijioii  tlu^  (mi- 
emy  by  a  part  of  General  A.  P.  Hill's  commant],  which 
was  di'iven  back  with  loss,  after  which  the  North  Carolina 

Fifty-Second  Regiment.  249 

Brigades  of  Lane,  Cooke  and  MacRae  were  ordered  up,  taking 
position  in  the  enemy's  front.  Advancing  steadily  and  rap- 
idly under  the  fire  of  Pegram's  guns,  we  captured  the  whole 
line,  not,  however,  before  the  enemy  were  driven  off  in  a 
hand-to-hand  encounter  in  the  works,  in  which  in  a  few  in- 
stances clubbed  rifles  were  used.  In  this  fight  our  losses  were 
necessarily  heavy.  We  captured  seven  stands  of  colors,  2,000 
prisoners  and  nine  pieces  of  artillery.  (See  General  Lee's 
letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  26  August,  1864.)  The  en- 
emy having  been  driven  from  the  railroad,  fell  back  to  their 
own  line,  and  at  nightfall  our  troops  fell  back  to  Petersburg. 
On  reaching  the  city  we  were  placed  in  line,  the  right  of 
our  brigade  resting  on  the  Petersburg  &  Weldon  Railroad. 
Here  we  were  engaged  in  throwing  up  a  new  line  of  works  in 
front  of  those  at  that  time  occupied.  At  this  employment  we 
continued  until  16  September,  when  we  were  moved  to  a 
point  about  half  a  mile  south  of  the  Boydton  plank  road,  and 
about  three  miles  southwest  of  the  city,  where  we  were  em- 
ployed in  constructing  rifle-pits  until  the  20th.  On  this  day 
we  were  moved  about  one  mile  further  south  of  the  Boydton 
road  and  engaged  in  constructing  works  of  a  more  elaborate 
character  until  the  29th,  when  we  were  ordered  to  Petersburg 
to  supply  the  places  in  the  line  of  troops  who  had  been  sent 
north  of  the  James.  We  reached  the  city  on  the  same  day 
and  awaited  orders.  On  the  30th  we  were  ordered  to  coun- 
ter-march and  take  position  on  the  right  of  the  line.  During 
the  time  we  had  been  withdrawn,  the  enemy  advanced  and 
had  taken  a  portion  of  the  rifle  pits  and  a  heavy  earthwork 
(Fort  MacRae)  which  we  had  constructed  and  held  on  the 
Squirrel  Level  road.  Attempting  to  move  thence  in  the 
direction  of  the  Boydton  plank  road,  he  was  met  by  Heth's 
Division,  and  after  a  sharp  and  spirited  attack,  was  driven 
back  on  his  lines.  MacRae's  Brigade  now  took  position  in 
the  line  further  to  the  right  and  was  engaged  daily  in  throw- 
ing up  earthworks  and  drilling  until  the  morning  of  27  Oc- 

burgess'  mills. 

The  enemy  having  driven  in  our  cavalry  holding  the  right 
of  the  line,  and  penetrating  to  the  Boydton  plank  road  at  a 

250  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

point  known  as  Burgess'  Mills,  about  six  miles  southwest  of 
Petersburg,  MacRae's  Brigade,  together  with  other  troops^ 
was  sent  to  their  support.  Finding  the  enemy  in  heavy  force 
on  the  west  side  of  Hatcher's  Bun,  and  south  of  the  plank 
road,  we  crossed  the  run  some  distance  below,  and 
immediately  after  crossing  advanced  our  corps  of 
sharpshooters,  who  at  once  encountered  the  enemy's  skir- 
mish line,  which  was  rapidly  forced  back  upon  the  Federal 
line  of  battle.  In  the  meantime  our  line  of  liattle  had  been 
formed.  With  a  yell  we  charged  the  enemy's  lines,  which 
were  broken  by  the  impetuosity  of  our  attack,  and  were 
driven  rapidly  before  us.  Having  driven  the  enemy  for 
nearly  a  mile,  and  finding  no  support  advancing  to  our  assist- 
ance, the  enemy  being  in  great  number  on  both  our  right  and 
left  flank,  General  MacBae  w^as  forced  to  call  a  halt  and  fall 
back  on  our  lines.  In  this  engagement  the  loss  of  officers  and 
men  was  heavy.  Among  the  former  was  Lieutenant  James 
W.  Huske,  of  Company  B,  Fifty-second  Begiment,  who  fell, 
pierced  through  the  body  with  a  minie  ball  while  gallantly 
leading  the  left  wing  of  the  regiment  in  this  charge.  He  had 
on  this  occasion,  as  on  all  others,  beliaved  with  conspicuous 
gallantry.  He  died  upon  the  field,  and  in  his  death  the  regi- 
ment lost  one  of  its  most  valuable  officers,  and  his  company  a 
kind  and  considerate  friend.  Fighting  until  nearly  dark  our 
lines  were  drawn  back  and  reformed,  where  we  awaited  an  ex- 
pected attack,  but  apparently  the  enemy  had  been  sufficiently 
punished,  as  they  witlidrcw  under  cover  of  night,  leaving 
their  killed  and  wounded  on  the  field.  A  i\Tajor-General 
said  in  the  hearing  of  this  writer,  next  morning,  that  he 
counted  286  dead  and  145  so  severely  wounded  as  to  be  un- 
able to  help  themselves. 

On  the  29th  ]\racBae's  Brigade  roturncMl  to  tlK>  lines  near 
Hart's  liouse,  Avhence  it  had  been  tak(Mi,  and  was  employed 
in  changing  our  lines,  building  a  new  line  of  works  and  tear- 
ing down  the  old  ones.  At  this  point  we  erected  cabins  and 
went  into  winter  (piarters.  Occupied  in  working  on  fortifica- 
tions, drilling  and  the  ordinary  camp  duties,  we  were  not 
called  upon  to  move  until  0  December,  1864.  when  the 
brigade  started  upon  a  tramp  in  ])nrsuit  of  a  party  of  the  en- 

Fifty-Second  Rkgiment.  251 

emy's  troops  engaged  in  an  effort  to  destroy  the  Petersburg  & 
Weldon  Railroad.  We  did  not  get  a  fight,  but  were  success- 
ful in  driving  them  back  within  their  own  lines,  after  whicE 
we  returned  to  our  camp,  reaching  it  on  the  14th,  From  this 
date  until  5  February,  1865,  we  remained  in  our  winter 
quarters,  doing  picket  duty,  drilling  and  performing  such 
other  duty  as  is  incident  to  camp  life. 


On  the  5th  MacRae's  Brigade,  accompanied  by  other 
troops,  moved  out  to  intercept  a  column  of  the  enemy  moving 
by  the  Vaughn  road,  in  the  direction  of  the  South  Side  Rail- 
road, which  had  reached  a  point  near  Armstrong's  Mill,  on 
the  left  bank  of  Hatcher's  Run.  Finding  the  enemy  strongly 
intrenched,  we  made  a  demonstration  against  them  which 
was  repulsed  with  some  loss.  We  were  withdrawn  after  dark 
and  returned  to  our  quarters.  On  the  7th  we  were  ordered 
under  arms  at  daylight  expecting  to  attack  the  enemy,  but  on 
account  of  a  very  heavy  sleet  and  snowstorm,  did  not  move. 
On  the  night  of  31  March  we  were  moved  to  the  right  and  oc- 
cupied a  position  in  our  lines  on  the  right  of  the  Boydton 
plank  road  beyond  Hatcher's  Run,  which  we  held  until  the 
night  of  2  April,  when  we  began  our  retreat  by  a  road  leading 
from  Five  Forks  to  Southerland  Station,  closely  pursued  by 
the  enemy.  Reaching  Southerland  Station  on  the  morning 
of  the  3d,  we  were  so  closely  pressed  as  to  find  it  necessary  to 
fight.  We  therefore  selected  a  position  on  the  brow  of  a 
slight  hill  in  an  open  field  and  rapidly  fortified  our  line,  as 
well  as  we  could,  with  bayonets  used  to  break  the  earth,  and 
such  other  means  as  were  at  command.  Before  we  had  suc- 
ceeded in  doing  any  considerable  work  the  enemy  charged  our 
line.  His  advance  was  met  with  a  well-delivered  and  telling 
volley  from  our  rifles  (we  had  no  artillery)  and  they  were 
driven  back  with  heavy  loss.  A  second  attack  with  strength- 
ened lines  was  made  and  again  they  retreated  with  greater 
loss.  A  third  and  much  heavier  column  was  hurled  against 
our  little  band ;  and,  after  fighting  with  great  desperation, 
being  flanked  on  our  left,  we  were  driven  from  our  lines  and 

252  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

retreated  in  the  direction  of  the  Appomattox  river  with  but 
little,  if  any,  organization. 

Since  the  war  a  Federal  General  told  General  MacGowan, 
of  South  Carolina  who,  being  the  ranking  officer  present  on 
this  occasion,  commanded  our  line,  that  this  was  the  most  gal- 
lantly defended  line  of  any  within  his  knowledge  during  the 
war ;  that  we  had  killed  and  wounded  more  of  their  men  than 
we  numbered.  Following  the  course  of  the  river  by  the  near- 
est accessible  road,  and  often  through  the  woods,  crossing 
Namozine  and  Deep  creeks,  we  joined  General  Lee  at  Goode's 
Bridge  and  proceeded  thence  to  Amelia  Court  House,  reach- 
ing this  point  on  the  4th  and  halting  for  rest  and  rations. 
Here  General  Lee  expected  to  ration  his  army,  having  or- 
dered supplies  to  meet  him  at  this  point.  In  this  hope,  how- 
ever, he  was  greatly  disappointed.  The  authorities  at  Rich- 
mond, in  the  panic  caused  by  the  expected  evacuation  of  the 
lines  around  Richmond  and  Petersburg,  ordered  the  trains  to 
proceed,  wdthout  stopping,  to  the  capital,  for  the  purpose  of 
moving  the  government's  effects,  which  they  did,  carrying 
with  them  almost  the  last  hope  of  the  army  in  the  shape  of  its 
subsistence,  there  to  be  destroyed,  or  fall  into  the  hands  of  the 

We  rested  here  during  the  4th  and  5th  sending  out  forag- 
ing parties  for  supplies,  which  resulted  in — nothing.  The 
troops  had  now  been  forty-eight  hours  without  regular  rations 
and  the  prospect  was  disheartening.  On  the  night  of  the  5th 
we  left  Amelia  Court  House,  marching  westwardly  by  way 
of  Deatonsville,  thence  towards  Farmville.  Approaching 
High  Bridge  over  the  Appomattox  river,  we  encountered  a 
body  of  cavalry  disputing  our  passage.  MacRae's  Brigade 
charged,  driving  them  off  and  capturing  General  Gregg,  after 
which  we  continued  the  retreat,  and  crossing  the  river  over 
the  bridge,  bivouacked  for  the  night.  On  the  morning  of  the 
7th  the  retreat  w^as  continued.  Reaching  a  commanding  po- 
sition al")out  five  miles  north  from  Farmville,  a  line  of  bat- 
tle was  formed  and  fortifications  quickly  erected.  Here  we 
rested  until  night,  when  the  retreat  was  continued  in  the 
direction  of  Lynchburg,  and  by  the  night  of  the  Sth  the  army 
had  reached  the  vicinity  of  Appomattox  Court  House. 

Fifty-Second  Regiment,  253 

On  the  9th  an  advance  was  begun  but,  finding  the  enemy  in 
possession  of  our  only  line  of  retreat,  the  army  was  halted 
pending  negotiations  for  the  surrender  of  the  Army  of  ISTorth- 
em  Virginia.  On  the  12th,  in  accordance  with  the  terms 
agreed  upon,  the  Fifty-second  Regiment,  together  with  the 
remainder  of  what  had  been  the  noble  Army  of  Northern  Vir- 
ginia, marched  to  a  point  designated  by  the  commissioners 
appointed  for  that  purpose,  and  stacked  their  arms,  deposit- 
ed their  furled  banners,  gave  their  parole  and  took  up  their 
line  of  march  for  those  homes  they  had  fought  so  bravely  to 
defend  through  four  long  years  of  blood,  hardships  and  toil. 

I^OTE : — After  the  regiment  had  been  assigned  to  a  brigade 
I  have  not,  in  many  instances,  been  able  to  speak  of  it  as  a 
separate  command,  but  it  is  to  be  understood  that  in  all  cases 
where  the  movements  of  the  brigade  are  spoken  of,  the  Fifty- 
second  Regiment  participated. 

Having  no  access  to  records,  I  have  not  been  able  to  note 
casualties  with  accuracy  as  to  detail,  except,  in  a  few  cases, 
where  my  information  is  derived  from  letters  written  to  my 
wife  at  the  time. 

John  H.  Robinson. 
Fayetteville,  N.  C, 
9  April,  1901. 

&.   Jamsx'wm 




The  duty  a—  _  ■     —     ■         .     —  — 

of  the  Fifrr-U-..\.  ,•.   :„  '_-.-._-  ^_i^_ ::;  .  ^   .__  ;  :; 

dischaige,  with  pleasure,  but  I  did  not  realize  uii::.  I  ^in 
how  great  the  difficnltr  would  be,  with  no  record  -  ::  :  '.-r 
conflicting  recollections  of  sorviring  comrades  as  -  -:i:i 
and  persons.  It  may  be  and  no  doubt  it  is  true,  rJ  I  -~f 
not  beai  accurate  as  to  the  personnel  of  the  cffi;  f 

regiment,  as  to  the  dates  of  commissionss,  death  an^  ,  :^^, 
and  if  any  injustice  by  omission  or  conmiisgifm  is  done^  I  as- 
sure my  living  comrades  and  frioids  of  such  as  have  crc^^si-?! 
over  the  river,  that  no  <me  regrets  more  idban  I  the  lack  of  re- 
liable data  to  rectify  any  mistakes. 

The  limited  length  of  this  sketch  of  course,  forbids  my  en- 
tering into  the  details  of  casualties  among  over  one  thousand 
men  who  at  different  dates  composed  the  rank  and  file. 

The  characteristics  of  this  regiment  were  common  to 
Xorth  CaioKna  troops.  Obedience  to  and  reverence  for  law 
and  authority,  for  which  the  State  has  been  so  l<mg  known,  in 
my  opinion,  constitute  the  basis  of  siddierly  qualities  for 
which  her  soldiers  will  be  famous  in  history. 

This  regiment  was  like  other  Xordi  Carolina  regimaits: 
it  was  never  known  to  shirk  a  duty :  never  refused  to  advance 
when  ordered :  never  known  to  retire  without  command.  In 
June,  after  its  organizatico,  it  was  ordered  to  Itiehmcmd  and 
during  the  seven  days  contest  it  was  cm  duty  <m  the 
side  of  the  James.  The  greater  part  of  its  first  year  of  so*- 
vice  was  spent  in  Eastern  Xorth  CarcJiina  and  it  recaved  its 
first  bapdsm  of  fire  as  a  raiment  at  Washington,  IST.  C,  in 
Gen.  D.  H.  HiO's  winter  campaign  of  1S62  and  18^^  ^  '  -  - 
days  after  the  battle  of  Chancelloisville  it  became  : 

the  Army  of  Xorthem  Virginia,  and  as  a  part  of  Daniers 
Brigade,  was  attached  to  the  Second  Corps,  with  which  it 

256  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

inarched  and  fought  from  FrcHiericksburg  to  A])p(una(tox, 
and  participated  in  more  than  twenty  general  engageuionts, 
inchiding  Gettysburg,  the  Wikh^niess,  Spottsylvania,  Wash- 
ington City,  Kernstown,  Snicker's  Ford,  Wincliester,  P'ish- 
er's  Hill,  Cedar  Creek,  Hare's  Hill,  Petersburg,  and  in  num- 
erous combats  and  smaller  affairs,  in  some  of  which  the  con- 
flict was  more  hotly  contested  than  in  the  great-er  battles.  Dan- 
iel's Brigade  was  composed  of  the  Thirty-second,  Forty-third, 
Forty-fifth  and  Fifty-third  Xorth  Carolina  l-fegimcntvS,  and 
Second  Xorth  Carolina  Battalion.  After  General  Daniel's 
death,  General  Bryan  Grimes  became  Brigadier-General. 
The  histories  of  the  other  regiments  in  the  brigade  necessarily 
outline  the  chief  incidents  in  the  career  of  the  Fifty-third  and 
make  it  unnecessary  to  give  its  battles  and  marches  in  detail. 

I  select  two  special  instances  of  its  coolness  and  discipline : 
One  was  on  the  first  day  of  the  battle  of  Gettysburg.  This 
regiment  had  hastened  from  Carlisle,  Pa.,  its  steps  quickened 
by  the  report  of  big  guns  on  the  morning  of  1  July.  Imme- 
diately upon  its  arrival  at  Gettysburg  it  was  thrown  into  line 
and  advanced  to  the  assault  with  the  brigade.  Soon  it.  was 
ascertained  that  there  was  not  room  between  the  brigade  on 
the  left  and  the  one  on  the  right,  and  this  regiment  was  drop- 
ped out  of  the  line,  which  closed  up  in  its  front  and  for  some 
time  it  had  to  stand  under  shot  and  shell  in  an  open  field  with- 
out being  able  to  return  the  fire  until  the  brigade  on  the  left, 
having  given  away,  it  moved  to  the  left,  took  its  place  and 
drove  the  enemy  into  the  town. 

In  this  trying  situation,  and  there  could  have  been  none 
more  trying,  except  a  retreat  under  fire,  the  regiment  manoeu- 
vered  as  upon  parade  and  drill,  and  its  behavior  on  this  occa- 
sion was  greatly  commended  by  the  brigade  and  division  com- 

Another  instance:  At  the  battle  of  Winchester,  19  Septem- 
ber, 1864,  after  hours  of  desperate  fighting,  when  all  the 
troops  on  the  right  and  left  had  abandoned  the  contest  and 
retired  from  the  field,  this  regiment,  alone,  continued  to  fight 
the  foe  until  ordered  to  retreat,  which  it  did,  across  an  open 
field  for  several  hundred  yards  (the  enemy  advancing  ten  to 
one  in  numbers)  in  ]->erfect  order,  and  at  intervals,  when  or- 

Fifty-Third  Regimeist.  257 

dered,haltiiig,facing-  about  and  delivering'its  fire  almost  in  the 
faces  of  the  pursuers.  Not  a  man  broke  ranks  or  quickened 
his  steps.  As  is  well  known  to  every  soldier,  a  retreat  under 
fire  is  the  severest  test  of  discipline  and  courage. 

At  the  battle  of  Winchester,  to  prevent  the  enemy  from  dis- 
covering the  gap  on  the  left,  I  had  deployed  the  greater  part 
of  my  regiment  as  skirmishers,  and  this  thin  line  successfully 
held  five  times  its  numbers  at  bay,  until  the  failure  of  prom- 
ised support  to  arrive,  and  all  of  Early's  army  on  our  left  had 
been  driven  from  the  field.  It  was  known  to  every  man  in 
the  regiment  that  the  enemy  w^as  getting  rapidly  in  our  rear, 
and  that  there  was  imminent  danger  that  we  would  be  cut  off 
and  surrounded,  but  until  ordered  so  to  do,  not  a  man  left  his 
position,  and  the  regiment  then  retreated  across  the  field  in 
the  manner  above  told. 

Experience  and  observation  have  taught  that  one  of  the 
results  of  organization  and  discipline  is,  that  when  soldiers 
retire  or  retreat  in  face  of  the  enemy  by  order,  they  will  halt, 
but  if  they  "break"  without  order,  it  is  difficult  to  raJly  and  re- 
form them.  An  incident  of  this  battle  illustrates  this.  The 
temporary  works  of  the  enemy  above  referred  tO'  'were  con- 
structed just  beneath  the  brow  of  the  liill  or  slope  up  which  the 
regiment  was  charging  at  a  run  and  was  not  observed  until  we 
were  within  a  few  feet  of  them.  When  the  men  had  reached 
nearly  the  top  of  the  slope,  to  their  astonishment  they  saw  be- 
hind the  work  a  third  line  of  the  enemy  and  such  of  the  other 
two  lines  as  could  be  prevailed  on  tO'  stop,  outnumbering  us 
four  or  five  to  one.  Our  men  immediately  faced  about  and 
started  for  the  shelter  of  a  wooded  hill  from  and  through 
which  they  had  just  driven  the  enemy.  Seeing  the  condition 
and  thinking  of  the  fact  above  stated,  I  at  once  ordered  a.  re- 
treat, had  the  officers  to  repeat  the  order,  semingly  so  superflu- 
ous, and  directed  the  regiment  to  halt  as  soon  as  the  woods 
were  reached.  When  I  reached  the  woods,  I  had  the  satisfac- 
tion of  seeing  the  regiment  reformed  and  "ready  for  busi- 
ness" as  if  nothing  had  happened  to  dampen  their  ardor. 

I  select  these  out  of  many  instances,  which  particularly 
distinguished  this  regiment,  because  of  the  trying  situations. 

'258  North  Carolina  Troops,    1801-65. 

After  the  regiment  was  assigned  to  Daniel's  Brigade,  it 
participated  in  the  battles  of  Gettysburg,  three  days,  and  at 
Mine  Kun  and  fought  more  or  less  from  5  May,  1864,  to  30 
May  at  tlic  Wilderness  under  fire  every  day.  It  was  in  the  fa- 
mous Horse  Shoe  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House,  during  the 
terrible  days  of  9,  10,  11  and  12  May,  losing  its  Major,  James 
Johnston  Iredell,  killed,  Col.  Owens  wounded,  several  of  its 
Captains  and  Lieutenants  and  scores  of  its  men  killed  and 
wounded.  It  was  brought  out  of  the  Horse  Shoe  to  straighten 
the  lines  after  the  assault  of  the  12th  under  command  of  a 
Captain,  its  only  remaining  field  officer,  its  Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel being  in  command  of  the  brigade,  the  Brigadier-General 
(Daniel)  and  every  other  officer  in  the  brigade  senior  in  com- 
mission, having  been  killed  or  wounded.  On  30  May  it 
was  engaged  in  the  battle  at  Bethesda  church,  and  on  the  next 
day  was  withdrawn  from  the  front  preparatorv  to  its  march 
to  the  Valley  of  Virginia. 

On  5  or  6  May,  1864,  the  sharpshooters  of  this  regiment 
were  much  annoyed  by  one  of  the  Federal  sharpshooters  who 
had  a  long  range  rifle  and  who  had  climbed  up  a  tall  tree 
from  wliich  he  could  pick  off  our  men,  tlioiigh  sheltered  by 
stump  and  stones,  himself  out  of  range  of  our  guns.  Pri- 
vate Leon,  of  Company  B  (Mecklenburg),  concluded  that 
"this  thing  had  to  be  stopped,"  and  taking  advantage 
of  every  knoll,  liollow  and  stump,  he  crawled  near  enough 
for  Ins  rifle  to  reach,  took  a  "pop"  at  this  disturber  of 
the  peace  and  he  came  tumbling  down.  Upon  running  up 
to  his  victim,  Leon  discovered  him  to  be  a  Canadian  In- 
dian, and  clutching  his  scalp-lock,  dragged  him  to  our  line  of 
sli  a  rpsl  looters. 

Tlie  regiment  was  at  Lynchl)urg  when  the  pursuit  of  Hun- 
ter began,  marched  with  General  Early  to  Wasliington,  D.  C, 
was  one  of  the  regiments  left  to  support  the  picket  line  under 
the  walls  of  Washington,  while  the  rest  of  the  corps  made  good 
its  retreat  to  the  valley — the  Nineteenth  and  Sixth  Corps  of 
the  Federal  army  having  been  poured  into  the  city  for  its  de- 
fense. While  supporting  the  pickets,  this  regiment  became 
involved  in  one  of  the  hottest  conflicts  in  its  experience,  but 
succeeded  in  holding  its  position,  repulsing  and  driving  the 

P^ifty-Third  Regiment.  259 

enemy  back  to  the  earthworks,  which  defended  the  city.  At 
jnidnight  it  received  orders  to  retire  in  perfect  silence,  and 
to  the  surprise  of  all  when  we  reached  the  position  on  the  hills 
near  the  city,  Avhere  we  had  left  the  corps,  it  was  ascertained 
that  the  corps  had  left  the  night  before,  twenty-four  hours — 
and  we  marched  the  whole  night  and  a  greater  part  of  the 
next  day  before  we  caught  up  with  the  rear  guards.  Early's 
ruse,  as  usual,  had  succeeded  in  deceiving  the  enemy. 

This  regiment  participated  in  all  of  the  battles  in  the  Val- 
ley in  1864,  and  in  numerous  combats  and  skirmishes.  In 
this  Valley  Campaign  the  regiment  lost  its  gallant  Colonel 
Owens,  who  was  killed  at  Snicker's  Ford,  near  Snicker's  Gap, 
in  August,  1864.  He  had  been  absent  since  10  May,  disabled 
by  wounds  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House ;  had  returned  just 
as  the  regiment  was  eating  dinner,  and  almost  while  we  were 
congratulating  him  on  his  safe  return,  we  received  notice  that 
the  enemy  had  crossed  the  river  at  Snicker's  Ford.  The  or- 
der to  ''fall  in"  was  given,  we  marched  to  the  river,  and  drove 
the  enemy  across,  after  a  short,  but  severe  conflict.  The  firing 
had  ceased,  excepting  now  and  then  a  dropping  shot,  when 
Colonel  Owens  was  killed  by  one  of  these  stray  shots.  He 
was  a  good  officer,  brave,  humane,  social,  popular  with  both 
men  and  officers.  He  was  succeeded  by  the  writer  as  Colonel. 
At  Winchester,  on  19  September,  1864,  Adjutant  Osborne 
was  killed.  Two  years  ago  Color  Sergeant  Taylor,  of  Com- 
pany E,  Surry  county,  who  has  resided  in  Utah  since  1866, 
visited  me.  He  received  a  ball  in  his  hip  from  which  wound 
he  still  limps  and  in  talking  about  his  own  wound,  he  told 
me  as  we  w^ere  charging  the  third  Federal  line  at  Winches- 
ter, having  broken  the  first  two,  and  when  near  the  tempor- 
ary breastwork  of  the  enemy,  he  received  the  shot  which  dis- 
abled him  for  life,  and  that  as  he  fell,  young  Osborne  picked 
up  the  flag  waving  it,  ran  forward,  cheering  on  the  men  and 
was  killed  within  20  feet  of  the  Color  Sergeant.  He  was  an 
efficient  officer  and  daring  soldier,  I  suppose  not  older  than 
20  years.  Lieutenant  W.  R.  Murray,  of  Company  A,  than 
whom  there  was  not  a  better  officer  or  braver  soldier  in  the 
^'Old  Guard"  of  iSTapoleon,  acted  as  Adjutant  after  the  death 
of  Osborne  till  the  surrender  at  Appomattox. 

260  NoKTH  Cakolina  Tkooi's,   186] -'Go. 

As  stated  before,  Major  Iredell,  a  true  gentleman  and  brave 
soldier,  was  killed  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House.  Captain 
Jolm  W.  Rierson  succeeded  him.  At  Winchester,  finding  that 
there  was  a  gap  of  two  or  three  hundred  yards  between  my 
left  and  the  troops  on  the  left,  and  that  the  enemy  had  discov- 
ered and  \vfr(^  ])reparing  to  take  advantage  of  it,  I  directed 
Major  Itierson  to  find  General  Grimes  on  the  right  of  the 
division,  (General  Rodes  had  been  killed  in  the  beginning  of 
the  action),  and  apprise  him  of  the  situation.  After  some 
time  he  returned,  saluted  and  reported,  the  fighting  being 
very  heavy  all  the  time,  when  I  discovered  that  J\Lajor  Rier- 
son was  shot  through  the  neck,  which  wound  was  received  be- 
fore he  found  General  Grimes,  but  he  nevertheless  performed 
the  duty,  returned  and  reported,  and  did  not  then  go  to  tbe 
rear  until  I  directed  him  to  do  so.  This  gallant  officer  was 
killed  when  the  enemy  broke  over  our  lines  at  Peter.-bvD-g,  a 
few  days  before  Appomattox.  He  was  entitled  to  his  com- 
mission as  Lieutenant-Colonel  from  the  date  of  the  battle  of 
Snicker's  Ford,  but  I  do  not  know  that  he  received  it. 

This  was  a  volunteer  regiment,  enlisted  in  the  latter  part 
of  the  winter  and  first  part  of  the  spring  of  1862,  and  was 
organized  at  Camp  Mangum,  near  Raleigh,  the  first  week  in 
May,  1862,  and  assigned  to  Daniel's  Brigade,  (Rodes'  Divis- 
ion). William  A.  Owens,  of  Mecklenburg  county,  was 
elected  Colonel ;  James  T.  Morehead,  Jr.,  of  Guilford  county, 
Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  James  Johnston  Iredell,  of  Wake 
county.  Major, 

Colonel  Owens  had  already  been  in  the  service  more  than 
one  year,  having  served  as  Captain  in  the  First  (Bethel)  Reg- 
iment, and  at  the  time  of  his  election  was  Lieutenant-Colonel 
of  the  Eleventh  Regiment. 

Lieutenant-Colonel  Morehead  had  also  been  in  the  service 
the  preceding  year,  having  entered  the  same  in  April,  1861, 
as  Lieutenant  of  the  "Guilford  Grays,"  (afterwards  Com- 
pany B,  of  the  Twenty-seventh  Regiment),  and  at  the  time 
of  his  election  was  a  Captain  in  the  Forty-fifth  Regiment. 

William  B.  Osborne,  of  Mecklenburg  county,  M^as  ap- 
pointed Adjutant  and  John  M.  Springs,  of  Mecklenburg,  was 
appointed    Captain    and    Assistant  Quartermaster.     He   re- 

Fifty-Third  Regiment.  261 

signed  in  the  fall  of  1862  and  was  succeded  by  Captain  John 
B.  Biirwell.  J.  F,  Long  was  appointed  Surgeon ;  Lauriston 
H.  Hill,  of  Stokes  county,  Assistant  Surgeon,  and  promoted 
Surgeon  in  1863.  William  Hill,  of  Mecklenburg,  was  ap- 
pointed Captain,  A.  C.  S.  In  1863  Charles  Gresham,  of 
Virginia,  was  assigned  to  duty  with  this  regiment  as  Assist- 
ant Surgeon.  James  H.  Colton,  of  Randolph  county,  was 
appointed  Chaplain ;  J.  H.  Owens,  Sergeant  Major  (pro- 
moted Second  Lieutenant  of  Company  I  and  killed)  ;  R.  B. 
Burwell,  Quartermaster  Sergeant;  J.  C.  Palmer,  Commis- 
sary Sergeant;  R.  S.  Barnett,  Ordnance  Sergeant.  Upon 
the  promotion  of  J.  H.  Owens,  Aaron  Katz,  of  Company  B, 
succeeded  him  as  Sergeant-Ma j or,  and  upon  his  being  cap- 
tured, Robert  A.  Fleming,  of  Company  A,  was  Sergeant- 

Company  A  was  from  Guilford  county.  A.  P.  McDaniel 
was  its  first  Captain,  commissioned  25  February,  1862,  and 
upon  his  retirement  in  1863,  Lieutenant  J.  M.  Sutton  was 
promoted  Captain  and  wounded  at  Bethesda  Church  and  on 
21  September,  1864,  in  the  Valley,  and  captured  at  Peters- 
burg; P.  W.  Haterick  (killed  at  Gettysburg),  First  Lieuten- 
ant; J.  M.  Sutton,  Second  Lieutenant;  W.  L.  Fleming,  pro- 
moted from  Sergeant  to  Second  Lieutenant  in  August,  1863  ; 
William  R.  Murray,  promoted  from  ranks  to  Second  and 
First  Lieutenant  in  1863;  J.  W.  Scott,  promoted  Second 
Lieutenant  from  Sergeant  (chief  of  regimental  corps  of 

Company'  B  was  from  Mecklenburg  county  and  its  first 
Captain  was  J.  Harvey  White,  commissioned  1  March,  1862, 
killed  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House  in  May,  1864.  Samuel 
E.  Belk,  First  Lieutenant ;  John  M.  Springs,  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, promoted  Assistant  Quartermaster ;  William  M.  Mat- 
thews, Second  Lieutenant,  promoted  from  First  Sergeant; 
M.  E.  Alexander,  promoted  Second  Lieutenant  from  Second 
Sergeant.  Lieutenants  Belk,  Matthews  and  Alexander  were 
wounded  at  Gettysburg. 

Company  C  was  from  Johnston,  Chatham  and  Wake, 
mostly  from  Johnston.  Its  first  Captain  was  John  Leach, 
commissioned  28  February,  1862 ;  was  succeeded  as  Captain 

262  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

by  J.  C.  Kicliardson  (wounded  at  Petersburg),  commissioned 
17  April,  1863,  both  from  Johnston  county;  George  T. 
Leach,  of  Chatham,  commissioned  First  Lieutenant  7  March, 
1862  ;  John  H.  Tomlinson,  of  Johnston  county,  commissioned 
Second  Lieutenant  in  April,  1862,  resigned  and  succeeded  by 
E.  Tomlinson  in  1862  ;  S.  R.  Horn,  of  Johnston  county,  was 
commissioned  Second  Lieutenant  21  July,  1862. 

Company  D  was  from  Guilford,  Cumberland,  Forsyth, 
Stokes,  Bladen  and  Surry.  David  Scott,  Jr.,  of  Guilford 
county,  was  commissioned  Captain  1  March,  1862,  resigned 
and  was  succeeded  15  May,  1863,  by  Alexander  Ray,  of  Cum- 
berland county,  promoted  from  First  Lieutenant  and  killed  at 
Petersburg,  April  1865.  Alexander  Ray  Avas  commissioned 
First  Lieutenant  1  March,  1862  ;  Madison  L.  Efland,  of  Guil- 
ford county,  commissioned  Second  Lieutenant  1  March,  1862, 
promoted  First  Lieutenant  15  May,  1863,  and  wounded;  A. 
H.  Westmoreland,  of  Stokes  county,  was  promoted  from  Ser- 
geant to  Second  Lieutenant ;  W.  N.  Westmoreland,  Stokes 
county,  was  promoted  from  the  ranks  to  Second  Lieutenant 
in  1863. 

Company  E  was  from  Surry  county.  J.  C.  ]N"orman  was 
commissioned  Captain  on  8  March,  1862,  resigned  the  follow- 
ing December  and  was  succeeded  by  First  Lieutenant  Rob- 
ert A.  Hill,  killed  in  1864,  succeeded  in  turn  as  Captain  by 
First  Lieutenant  B.  W.  Minter ;  Samuel  Walker  was  commis- 
sioned Second  Lieutenant  8  March,  1862,  promoted  to  First 
Lieutenant  December,  1862,  and  resigned;  B.  W.  Minter, 
Second  Lieutenant,  promoted  First  Lieutenant  and  Captain ; 
Henry  Hines,  Second  Lieutenant,  in  1862  ;  Logan  Bemer, 
promoted  from  Corporal  to  Second  Tjieutenant,  wounded  and 
captured  in  1864;  James  A.  Hill,  Second  Lieutenant,  cap- 
tured in  1864. 

Company  F  was  from  Alamance  and  Chatham.  G.  M. 
G.  Albright  was  commissioned  Captain  5  May,  1862,  killed 
July,  1863,  at  Gettysburg,  and  was  succeeded  by  A.  G.  Al- 
bright, promoted  from  First  Lieutenant  (wounded  at  Fisher's 
Hill,  1864)  ;  Jesse  M.  Holt,  First  Lieutenant,  16  July,  1863, 
promoted  from  Second  Lieutenant,  (killed  at  Winchester, 
1864)  ;  Branson  Lambe,  commissioned  in  1864,  promoted 

Fifty-Third  Regiment.  263 

from  Second  Lieutenant;  John  J.  Webster,  commissioned 
Second  Lieutenant  May,  1862,  and  resigned;  S.  J.  Albright, 
commissioned  Second  Lieutenant  in  1862  and  killed  at 
Spottsylvania  Court  House  in  1864. 

Company  F  was  from  Stokes.  G.  W.  Clarke  was  com- 
missioned Captain  on  20  March,  1862,  and  resigned  May, 
1862 ;  was  succeeded  by  John  W.  Eierson,  promoted  from 
Second  Lieutenant  and  who  was  in  1863  promoted  to  Major, 
wounded  at  Winchester  and  killed  at  Petersburg,  April,  1865. 
He  was  in  time  succeeded  as  Captain  by  H.  H.  Campbell, 
promoted  from  First  Lieutenant  and  killed  at  Winchester. 
G.  B.  Moore  was  commissioned  First  Lieutenant  in  March, 
1862,  resigned  in  June ;  John  W.  Rierson,  commissioned  Sec- 
ond Lieutenant  March,  1862  ;  W.  H.  McKinney  was  promo- 
ted from  the  ranks  in  May,  1862,  to  second  Lieutenant,  and 
wounded  at  Winchester ;  C.  F.  Hall,  promoted  from  ranks  to 
Second  Lieutenant,  mortally  wounded  at  Gettysburg;  W.  F. 
Campbell,  promoted  First  Lieutenant  and  wounded  at  Wash- 
ington, D.  C. 

Company  H  was  from  Stokes  county.  Captain  Spotts- 
wood  B.  Taylor  was  commissioned  on  20  March,  1862,  re- 
signed on  account  of  health  in  ISTovember,  1863,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  John  E.  Miller,  promoted  from  Second  Lieutenant, 
who  was  wounded  at  Snicker's  Ford  and  captured  September, 
1864;  Thomas  S.  Burnett,  commissioned  First  Lieutenant 
20  March,  1862,  and  killed  in  1863;  Charles  A.  McGehee, 
First  Lieutenant,  November,  1862,  woimded  at  Gettysburg 
3  July,  1863,  and  captured;  Alexander  M.  King,  Second 
Lieutenant,  March,  1862  ;  J.  Henry  Owens,  promoted  Sec- 
ond Lieutenant  from  Sergeant-Ma j or,  December,  1862,  and 
killed ;  Alexander  Boyles,  promoted  First  Lieutenant. 

Company  I  was  from  Union  county.  E.  A.  Jerome  was 
commissioned  Captain  20  March,  1862,  and  resigned  in  Jime 
following,  and  was  succeeded  by  Thomas  E.  Ashcraft,  pro- 
moted from  First  Lieutenant ;  John  D.  Cuthbertson,  commis- 
sioned Second  Lieutenant  20  March,  1862,  promoted  First 
Lieutenant;  Joshua  Lee,  commissioned  Second  Lieutenant 
20  March,  1862 ;  James  E.  Green,  promoted  from  the  ranks, 

204  North  Carolina  Trooi's,    1 801-65. 

Second  Lieutenant  24  June,  1862;  A.  T.  Marsh,  promoted 
froni  Sergeant  to  Second  Lieutenant  19  May,  1864. 

Company  K  was  from  Wilkes  county.  William  J,  Mil- 
ler was  commissioned  Captain  20  March,  1862,  killed  at  Get- 
tysburg 1  July,  1863,  and  was  succeeded  by  Jesse  Y.  Eller, 
promoted  from  Second  Lieutenant;  Thomas  C.  Miller,  pro- 
moted from  Second  Lieutenant  to  First  Lieutenant  1  July, 
1863 ;  Thomas  C.  Miller,  commissioned  Second  Lieutenant 
in  August,  1862. 

This  regiment  lost  in  killed  its  first  Colonel,  who  was  twice 
wounded ;  both  of  its  Majors,  one  of  them,  Rierson,  several 
times  wounded  and  its  xidjutant.  Its  surviving  Colonel  was 
wounded  three  times,  at  Gettysburg,  Fisher's  Hill  and  in  the 
assault  upon  the  Federal  lines  at  Hare's  Hill  on  25  March, 
1865,  in  which  last  engagement  he  was  captured  within  the 
enemy's  works. 

As  it  is,  I  have  only  the  approximately  correct  report  of 
the  losses  of  one  of  the  companies  of  the  regiment,  and  that 
only  in  one  battle,  but  I  think  the  losses  of  the  other  com- 
panies may  be  fairly  estimated  from  the  losses  of  this  one. 

Company  B  lost  at  Gettysburg  out  of  about  65  men,  8 
killed  and  22  wounded,  and  of  the  four  officers,  three  vvere 

I  meet  many  of  these  scarred  and  now  grizzly  veterans  of 
the  companies  from  Alamance,  Guilford,  Stokes  and  Surry 
at  my  courts  in  these  counties,  and  hear  sometimes  from  those 
from  the  other  counties,  and  with  very  few  exceptions  they 
have  shown  themselves  to  be  as  good  citizens  as  they  were  gal- 
lant soldiers.  They  illustrate  that  ''peace  hath  her  victories 
no  less  renowned  than  war." 

The  regiment  reduced  to  a  handful  of  men  shared  the  for- 
tunes of  the  historic  retreat  and  surrendered  at  Appomattox, 
being  then  commanded  by  Captain  Thomas  E.  Ashcraft,  the 
brigade  l)eing  commanded  by  Colonel  David  G.  Cowand. 
General  Grimes  having  boon  made  a  ^^fajor-General,  com- 
manded the  division. 

I  cannot  close  this  sketch  without  acknowledging  my  in- 
debtedness to  Captain  Sutton  and  Private  J.  Montgomery,  of 
Company  A ;  L.  Leon,  of  Company  B,  who  kindly  furnished 

Fifty-Third  Regiment.  265 

me  with  copy  of  a  diary  kept  by  him  from  organization  of 
the  regiment  up  to  5  May,  1864,  when  he  was  captured ;  Cap- 
tain Albright,  of  Company  F ;  Captain  S.  B.  Taylor,  of  Com- 
pany H,  and  Lieutenant  W.  F.  Campbell,  of  Company  G, 
for  valuable  information ;  and  I  hope  that  the  publication 
of  the  sketches  of  the  North  Carolina  regiments  will  excite  in- 
terest enough  among  the  old  soldiers  to  give  us  further  dates 
and  incidents.  I  wish  I  could  write  a  history  of  my  regi- 
ment which  would  do  the  officers  and  men  full  credit  for  their 
patriotism  and  services. 

The  patriotism  and  heroism  of  these  soldiers  were  illus- 
trated by  the  patient  and  uncomplaining  endurance  of  the 
forced  march,  the  short  rations,  the  hardships  of  winter  camps 
and  campaigns  as  much  as  by  their  lighting  qualities.  Pos- 
terity will  hesitate  to  decide  which  is  most  worthy  of  admira- 

James  T.  Morehead. 
Obeensboro,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 



1.  K.  M.  Murchison,  Colonel. 

2.  Rev.  John  Paris,  Chaplain. 

3.  J.  Marshall  ■Williams.  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  C. 

4.  R.  A.  Russell,  ~M  Lieut.,  Co.  E. 


By  J.  MARSHALL  WILLIAMS,  First  Lieutenant  Company  C. 

This  regiment  was  organized  at  Camp  Mangum,  near  Ral- 
eigh, N.  C,  on  10  May,  1862,  and  was  composed  of  t^  com- 
panies of  infantry,  viz. : 

Company  A — Rowaon  County — Captain  Anderson  Ellis. 

Company  B — Burke  County — Captain,  J.  C.  S.  McDow- 

Company  C — Cumberland  County — Captain,  K.  M.  Mur- 

Company  D — Northampton  County — Captain,  J.  A. 

Company  E — Iredell  Coimiy — Captain,  — .  — .  Parker. 

Company  F — Guilford  Cou??^^/— Captain,  — .  — .  Wat- 

Company  G — MHlkes  County — Captain,  A.  H.  Martin. 

Company  H — Yadkin  County — Captain,  D.  S.  Cocker- 

Company  K — Columbus  County — Captain,  W.  B.  Hamp- 

Company  K — Granville  County — Captain,  S.  J.  Parham. 

Each  company  containing  its  full  quota  of  men,  it  pro 
ceeded  to  elect  Field  Officers,  which  resulted  as  follows : 

Captain  J.  C.  S.  McDowell^  of  Company  B,  Colonel.     ■ 
Captain  K.  M.  Muechison^  of  Company  C,  Lieutenant^ 

Captain  A.  Ei.lis^  of  Company  A,  Major. 

Subsequently  the  following  Staff  was  appointed : 
Lieutenant  W.  C.  McDaniel.  Adjutant,  of  Company  C. 

D.  R.  MuRCHisoN^  Quartermaster. 

E.  G.  Greenlee^  Surgeon. 

268  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

W.  H.  Tate,  Assistant  Surgeon. 
Rev.  John  Paris,  Chaplain. 
Robert  G.  Russell,  Sergeant-Major. 
E.  G.  Brodie,  Ordnance  Sergeant. 
J.  J.  Forney,  Quartermaster  Sergeant. 

Tluis  it  will  be  seen  that  this  regiment  was  composed  of  ten 
companies  from  different  parts  of  the  State.  Though  high 
up  in  iiumhers,  it  was  made  up  of  good  material;  many  of  its 
officers  and  men  had  formerly  belonged  to  the  First  Volun- 
teers or  ''Bethel,"  Seventh  and  Eighth  jSTorth  Carolina  Regi- 

Upon  the  completion  of  its  organization  this  regiment  was 
sent  to  the  coast  of  jSTorth  Carolina,  and  after  three  months 
seiwice  on  picket  duty,  and  other  duties  incident  to  camp  life, 
it  was  ordered  to  the  Anny  of  ISrorthern  Virginia,  and  was 
temporarily  placed  in  Law's  Brigade,  with  the  Sixth,  Twenty- 
first  and  Fifty-seventh  North  Carolina  Regiments,  which 
constituted  a  part  of  Hood's  Division.  Soon  after  it  was 
assigned  to  this  command,  the  first  battle  of  Fredericksburg 
came  off. 


Here  we  ''fleshed  our  maiden  sword,"  and  at  once 
covered  ourselves  with  glory.  On  13  December,  1862,  this 
regiment,  with  the  Fifty-seventh,  being  new  regiments, 
were  detached  and  ordered  to  drive  the  enemy  from  a  rail- 
road cut,  from  which  they  had  driven  our  troops  in  the  early 
part  of  the  day.  At  5  o'clock  p.  m.  this  memorable  charge 
was  made  in  the  most  gallant  manner  in  the  presence  of  some 
of  our  prominent  generals,  and  to  use  the  language  of  General 
Hood,  our  comuumder,  "They  pursued  the  broken  enemy 
across  the  railroad  for  a  mile  into  the  plains.  Although 
scourged  by  a  galling  flank  fire,  it  was  uot  until  repeated  mes- 
sengers had  been  sent  to  repress  their  ardor  that  they  were 
recalled.  I  verily  believe  the  mad  fcdlows  would  have  gone 
on  in  spite  of  me  and  tlie  enemy  together;  and  <is  the_>  re- 
turned, souie  of  them  were  seen  weepiug  witli  vexation  be- 
cause they  had  been  dragged  from  the  bleeding  haunches  of 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  269 

the  foe,  and  exclaiming :  'It  is  because  lie  has  no  confidence 
in  Carolinians !  If  we  had  been  some  of  his  Texans  he  would 
have  let  us  go  on  and  got  some  glory.'  "  Our  loss  in  this  battle 
was  comparatively  light,  considering  the  deadly  work  we  were 
engaged  in,  but  we  left  some  brave  men  on  the  field,  which 
served  to  remind  us  that  in  our  next  it  might  be  our  lot  to  fill 
a  soldier's  grave.  After  this  battle  we  went  intO'  winter 
quarters  on  the  Rappahannock  river,  and  in  a  short  time  the 
campaign  of  1863  was  opened.  We  were  then  transferred 
to  General  Robert  F.  Hoke's  Brigade,  which  was  composed 
of  the  Sixth,  Twenty-first,  Fifty-fourth  and  Fifty-seventh 
No'rth  Carolina  Regiments  and  assigned  to  Early's  Division, 
Jackson's  Corps.  We  took  part  in  some  of  Jackson's  strater- 
gic  movements  around  Chancellorsville,  and  were  engaged 
in  several  "brushes"  which  were  very  common  at  that  time. 
On  3  May  our  division  alone,  was  sent  back  to  Fred- 
ericksburg, a  distance  of  sixteen  miles,  and  took  posi- 
tion on  Marye's  Heights  to  prevent  a  flank  movement  on 
General  Lee,  then  at  Chancellorsville.  On  the  following 
day  Sedgwick's  Corps,  with  other  troops,  crossed  the  river, 
and  swept  us  from  our  position.  Soon  Rode's  Division 
came  to  our  assistance,  and  after  a  bloody  struggle  we  rer 
gained  our  former  position,  and  the  enemy  were  driven 
back  across  the  river.  Many  of  our  brave  men  fell  in  this 
battle.  It  was  here  that  our  much-lamented  Colonel,  J.  C.  S. 
McDowell,  fell  mortally  wounded,  and  on  the  8th  yielded 
up  his  life,  "as  a  holocaust  to  his  country's  need."  His  re- 
mains were  then  taken  by  a  dear  friend  to  Richmond,  and 
placed  in  the  capital  by  the  side  of  the  immortal  Jackson, 
who  had  "crossed  over  the  river"  at  the  same  time.  After 
the  death  of  Colonel  ]\IcDowell,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Ken- 
neth M.  Murchison  was  made  a  full  Colonel,  and  Captain 
James  A.  Rogers,  of  Company  D,  was  made  Major,  vice  Ellis 
promoted  to  Lieutenant-Colonel.  Soon  we  joined  the  main 
army,  then  at  Chancellorsville,  and  were  assigned  to  Ewell's 
Corps,,  and  with  the  army  took  up  a  line  of  march  for 
Culpepper  Court  House:  From  thence  we  moved  north- 
ward, passed  Little  Washing-ton,  and  moving  with  the  ut- 
most rapidity  we  soon  entered  the  Valley. 

270  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

in  the  valley. 

Upon  reaching  Front  Royal,  liodes'  Division  of  our  Corps 
was  detached  and  sent  to  Berryville,  when  our  division 
(Early's)  with  Johnson's,  were  sent  to  Winchester,  On 
reaching  the  vicinity  of  Winchester  our  sharpshooters  be- 
came engaged,  and  soon  drove  the  enemy  into  one  of  their  ad- 
vanced forts,  which  was  very  strong.  A  line  of  battle  was 
soon  formed,  and  all  preparation  made  for  an  immediate  at- 
tack. General  Ewell  tinding  it  a  difficult  matter  to  procure 
a  suitable  position  for  his  artillery  on  the  hills  commanding 
the  town,  spent  the  day  in  posting  his  batteries. 

The  town  was  strongly  fortified,  and  it  was  thought  that 
Milroy,  with  a  garrison  of  G,000  men,  would  make  a  desper- 
ate effort  to  hold  it.  General  Ewell  at  once  resolved  to  storm 
the  works,  and  with  all  the  artillery  from  the  two  divisions 
opened  a  galling  fire  upon  their  works,  and  in  three  hours' 
time  the  Federal  guns  were  silenced.  At  6  o'clock  p.  m., 
Hays'  Brigade  of  our  division,  made  a  most  gallant  charge 
and  carried  their  redoubts  by  storm,  capturing  and  killing 
a  good  portion  of  the  garrison.  ISTight  coming  on,  Milroy, 
with  a  handful  of  his  men,  deserted  their  command  and  fled 
in  wild  confusion  and  reached  Hai'per's  Ferry  in  safety. 

In  this  engagement  2,000  prisoners,  equally  as  many 
horses,  and  a  vast  amount  of  commissary  stores  were  cap- 
tured. On  18  June  our  regiment,  then  numbering  400  men, 
was  ordered  to  take  these  prisoners  to  Staunton,  a  distance  of 
100  miles,  and  rejoin  the  army  then  in  Maryland,  at  a  speci- 
fied time.  The  Fifty-fourth  was  thus  depjfived  of  a  share 
in  the  battle  of  Gettysburg  in  which  the  rest  of  the  brigade 
participated.  With  as  little  delay  as  possible  we  started  en 
route  for  Staunton,  marching  eighteen  miles  a  day,  and 
guarding  prisoners  at  night.  On  3  July,  1863,  we  returned  to 
Winchester,  and  in  conjunction  with  a  Virginia  regiment, 
were  ordered  to  guard  an  ordnance  train  to  the  army,  then  in 
Pennsylvania.  Upon  reaching  Williamsport  it  was  ascer- 
tained that  the  enemy  was  making  some  demonstrations  in 
our  front,  and  we  were  at  once  ordered  by  General  Imboden, 
who  was  tlien  in  command,  to  take  position  and  repel  any 

Fifty- Fourth  Regiment.  271 

attack  that  might  be  made  upon  our  wagon  train,  which  had 
arrived  there,  but  could  not  cross  on  account  of  the  high 
stage  of  the  water  in  the  Potomac. 

On  the  morning  of  the  6th  a  strong  force  of  cavalry  and 
artillery  advanced  on  the  Hagerstown  and  Boonsboro  roads. 
Our  force  being  small,  four  companies  under  command  of 
LieutenantrColonel  Ellis,  were  detached  to  support  our  only 
battery,  and  the  remainder  of  the  regiment  deployed  as  sharp- 
shooters, so  as  to  check  any  advance  of  the  enemy  that  might 
be  made  on  the  Boonsboro  road.  At  5  o'clock  p.  m.  the  en- 
emy advanced  their  artillery,  which  was  followed  by  dis- 
mounted cavalry,  and  a  fierce  little  battle  ensued,  which 
lasted  for  an  hour,  when  they  retreated.  In  this  fight  25 
were  killed  and  wounded  from  our  regiment,  and  a  good 
number  from  the  regiment  that  had  joined  us. 

General  Imboden  guarded  our  flanks,  while  Colonel  Mur- 
chison  manoeuvered  this  little  army  with  much  coolness,  and 
soon  won  the  unbounded  confidence  of  his  men  in  his  mili- 
tary skill  and  their  admiration  for  his  personal  bravery. 

retreat   from   GETTYSBURG. 

On  8  July  we  again  joined  the  main  army  at  Hagerstown, 
Md.,  and  with  it  we  again  crossed  the  Potomac.  Marching 
continuously  we  reached  Rapidan  Station,  and  went  into 
camp  for  a  short  rest,  which  was  so  much  needed.  From  this 
camp  heavy  cannonading  could  be  heard  in  our  rear,  and  we 
were  frequently  annoyed  by  the  cavalry  dashes  on  our  rear 
guard.  After  our  rest  we  moved  on  Somerville  Ford,  to 
check  a  column  of  cavalry  from  crossing;  but  after  a  feeble 
demonstration,  they  withdrew  to  Raccoon  Ford  to  reinforce 
some  troops  already  there,  and  confronting  Johnson's  Divis- 
ion. We  were  hurried  to  that  point  and  assisted  in  driving 
them  back. 

From  here  we  moved  to  Orange  Court  House,  and  after 
being  reviewed  by  General  Lee,  we  went  into  camp  and  were 
held  in  reserve  for  two  days.  Colonel  Murchison,  after  a 
short  absence,  joined  us  at  this  place,  and  took  command  of 
the  regiment.     In  a  short  time  we  were  sent  out  on  picket 

272  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

and  captured  a  good  lot  of  prisoners  that  had  been  cut  off 
from  their  commands. 

We  then  moved  on  to  Madison  Court  House,  and  in  ap- 
proching  Rapidan  river,  had  a  fierce  encounter  with  the 
enemy's  cavalry,  which  was  soon  driven  back.  We  then  con- 
tinued our  march  in  the  direction  of  Culpepper  Court  House, 
and  tipon  arriving  there  had  a  rest  of  tAvo  days,  awaiting  some 
troops  to  como  up.  On  the  12th  we  resumed  our  march  for 
Warrenton  Springs  and  rested  for  the  night.  The  next 
morning  we  crossed  the  river,  and  found  many  dead  Yan- 
kees and  horses  where  General  Stuart  had  fought  them  the 
day  before.  He  was  then  driving  them  in  the  direction  of 
Rappahannock  Station.  Our  whole  anny  then  began  de- 
stroying the  railroad  for  some  distance,  and  after  this  work 
was  accomplished  we  went  on  tO'  Rappahannock  Station  and 
went  into  camp.  The  next  day  we  moved  to  Brandy  Sta- 
tion, and  in  passing  through  an  open  space  of  fields,  we  were 
subjected  to  a  severe  enfilading  fire,  from  the  horse  artillery, 
which  caused  some  confusion ;  but  they  were  soon  driven  off, 
and  we  then  moved  on  quietly  and  bivouacked  near  Brandy 

On  1  IsTovember,  1863,  we  moved  our  camp  two  miles  west 
of  Brandy  Station  on  tlie  railroad,  and  much  to  our  surprise, 
we  were  ordered  to  build  winter  quarters ;  and  what  rejoic- 
ing there  was  in  the  anticipation  of  a  long  rest  and  a  cessa- 
tion of  hostilities.  Those  of  us  who  possessed  a  talent  for 
making  ourselves  comfortable  soon  had  good  cabins,  and  as 
every  officer  was  priding  himself  upon  having  the  "best,"  a 
sudden  change  in  our  life  of  quietude  and  social  enjoyment 
came  over  the  spirit  of  our  dreams. 


On  the  evening  of  the*  15th  our  brigade  was  called  out  and 
hurried  to  the  river  to  reinforce  Hays'  Brigade  of  our  divis- 
ion, then  on  picket,  and  threatened  by  a  heavy  force.  Just 
at  dark  we  reached  the  river,  and  were  hurried  across  on 
pontoon  bridges,  and  took  position  behind  some  works  that 
had  been  built  to  defend  the  passage  of  the  river.  It  was 
thought  bv  General  Earlv  that  a  successful  resistance  could 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  273 

be  made,  or  if  forced  to  withdraw,  it  could  be  done  under  the 
batteries  from  the  south  side.  In  a  short  time  Sedgwick's 
Corps  with  the  assistance  of  Russell's  and  Upton's  Brigades 
from  the  Fifth  Corps,  took  possession  of  our  bridge  and  the 
two  brigades  after  some  desperate  fighting,  were  oveiiDOwered 
and  compelled  to  surrender. 

Out  of  the  2,000  men  engaged  and  so  recklessly  exposed, 
1,750  were  captured  and  150  killed  and  wounded.  Those 
who  escaped  only  reached  the  south  side  by  swimming  the 
river.  From  our  regiment  only  three  commissioned  officers 
escaped,  viz..  Lieutenants  Edward  Smith,  Fitzgerald,  and 
the  writer  of  this  sketch,  who  was  then  carried  fifteen  miles 
at  night,  through  a  mist  of  rain  and  snow,  in  an  unconscious 
condition,  before  a  change  of  clothing  could  be  had.  Those 
that  were  captured  were  taken  to  Johnson's  Island,  Ohio, 
and  Avere  held  until  after  the  war. 

If  the  writer  is  not  mistaken,  General  Hoke  was  at  this 
time  home  on  a  wounded  furlough,  and  upon  hearing  of  this 
dreadful  disaster,  came  on  and  obtained  permission  to  take 
the  remnant  of  his  brigade  to  Kinston,  IST.  C,  to  be  recraited 
by  conscripts,  and  his  old  men  then  at  home  on  sick  and 
wounded  furloughs.  The  Twenty-first  ISTorth  Carolina  of 
our  brigade  was  absent  at  the  time,  being  on  detached  service 
in  jS'orth  Carolina,  and  thus  escaped  capture.  The  conscripts 
soon  began  to  pour  in  from  Raleigh,  and  for  three  weeks  we 
were  engaged  in  the  monotonous  business  of  preparing  these 
men  for  more  active  service. 


General  Hoke,  not  yet  entirely  well  of  his  wounds,  became 
restless  and  obtained  permission  to  "tackle"  New  Bern.  On 
30  January,  1864,  we  moved  in  that  direction,  by  the  Dover 
road,  and  were  reinforced  by  Clingman's  and  Corse's  Bri- 
gades. Upon  reaching  Core  creek  our  sharpshooters  were 
thrown  out  and  soon  became  engaged  with  the  enemy,  when 
they  were  driven  back  to  Bachelor's  creek,  where  they  were 
well  fortified  and  made  a  stubborn  resistance.  Our  artillery 
was  soon  in  position,  and  a  deadly  assault  was  made  upon 

S74  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

their  works,  when  they  fled  in  much  confusion  tx>  New  Bern, 
-leaving  behind  several  pieces  of  artillery  and  a  good  many 
prisoners.  In  this  battle  our  loss  in  killed  and  wounded  was 
■heavy.  Among  the  killed  was  Colonel  Shaw,  of  the  Eighth 
North  Carolina.  We  then  moved  on  to  New  Bern,  and 
finding  heavy  reinforcements  ])ouring  into  the  city  from 
Plymouth  and  other  points,  it  w^as  not  deemed  advisable 
to  make  the  attack  just  at  this  time,  and  our  little  army 
withdrew ;  but  not  until  much  damage  had  been  done  to 
the  enemy.  We  then  returned  quietly  to  Kinston,  and  re- 
mained there,  drilling  conscripts  which  were  daily  com- 
ing in  until  13  April,  when  our  brigade  moved  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Goldsboro,  Clingman's  and  Corse's  going  in  a 
different  direction.  This  movement  somewhat  puzzled 
lis,  as  we  knew  not  "'what  was  up"  until  we  reached  Ply- 
mouth, w^hen  some  changes  were  made  in  our  commands. 


The  Forty-third  North  Carolina  and  Twenty-first  Georgia 
Hegiments  were  temporarily  attached  to  our  brigades.  Col- 
onel Mercer,  of  the  Twenty-first  Georg-ia,  being  senior  ofiicer, 
took  command  of  our  brigade  (General  Hok^e  commanding 
the  whole  army).  In  the  first  charge  on  one  of  the  advanced 
forts,  which  was  very  strong.  Colonel  Mercer  was  killed, 
and  his  men  seeing  no  chance  of  getting  in  under  this  galling 
fire,  began  to  waver,  Avhen  Lieutenant-Colonel  W.  G.  Lewis, 
•of  the  Forty-third,  promptly  taking  in  the  critical  situation, 
assumed  command,  and  began  to  rally  the  men  behind  a  bluff 
in  a  few  yards  of  the  fort.  He  at  once  sent  for  two  pieces  of 
artillery,  which  soon  battered  down  one  corner  of  the  fort, 
and  we  went  in  without  the  loss  of  a  man.  This  movement 
evidently  saved  the  life  of  many  a  brave  man. 

From  this  time  Colonel  Lewis  was  in  command  of  our  bri- 
gade and  was  soon  made  Brigadier-General  for  his  heroic 
conduct  on  this  occasion. 

We  then  moved  on  the  town,  and  after  a  feeble  demonstra- 
tion by  the  enemy  it  was  surrendered  20  April,  1864,  with 
2,500  prisoners,  100,000  pounds  of  bacon,  1,000  barrels  of 
flour  and  a  vast  amount  of  other  stores.    Among  these  prison- 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  275 

ers  22  had  formerly  belonged  to  our  army,  and  had  gone 
over  to  the  enemy  and  taken  up  arms  against  us.  These  pris- 
oners were  sent  to  Kinston,  given  a  fair  trial  by  court-mar- 
tial, convicted  of  high  treason,  and  duly  executed  by  our 

After  this  we  went  to  Washington,  N.  C.  The  enemy  soon 
fled  destroying  a  vast  amount  of  stores.  At  this  place  we  re- 
mained several  days  in  perfect  quietude.  We  then  moved 
back  to  iSTew  Bern,  where  General  Hoke  expected  to  add  an- 
other gem  to  the  diadem  of  his  military  fame,  but  alas! 
General  Lee  could  no  longer  do  without  him  and  we  were 
hurried  to  Virginia. 


Arriving  at  Weldon,  IST.  C,  it  was  ascertained  that  the 
enemy  had  torn  up  the  railroad  and  burnt  two  of  our  bridges, 
and  we  were  compelled  to  march  fourteen  miles  and  take  the 
cars  again.  On  9  May  at  6  o'clock  p.  m.,  we  arrived  at 
Petersburg  just  in  time  to  save  the  city.  Butler  at  that  time 
was  in  possession  of  the  outer  works  of  the  city,  and  had  de- 
manded its  surrender  on  the  following  morning.  As  soon  as 
we  could  get  in  position  he  was  attacked  in  the  most  vigorous 
manner,  and  soon  fled  in  wild  confusion  to  Drewry's  Bluff, 
and  we  in  hot  pursuit  until  stopped  by  the  heavy  shelling 
from  his  gunboats.  We  then  crossed  the  James  and  took 
position  at  Chaffin's  fann,  and  after  some  shar]3  picket  fight- 
ing we  were  withdrawn  and  sent  to  Richmond  by  steamers. 
Arriving  there,  we  were  sent  four  miles  east  of  the  city,  and 
went  into  camp  for  the  first  time  in  several  days.  The  next 
day  we  again  crossed  the  James  river  to  check  a  column  of 
cavalry  that  was  supposed  to  be  moving  on  the  coal  field 
railroad.  The  enemy  made  but  a  feeble  demonstration,  and 
after  some  brisk  picket  fighting  they  withdrew. 

13  July,  1864,  we  were  ordered  back  to  Drewry's  Bluff  to 

*  After  the  war  Secretary  Stanton  had  in  contemplation  calling  Gen. 
Hoke  to  account  but  the  latter  took  the  initiative  by  going  to  Washing- 
ton and  calling  on  Gen.  Grant  who  promptly  stopped  the  proceedings. 

276  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

reinforce  General  Beauregard,  who  was  threatened  by  a 
heavy  force.  Upon  our  arrival  there  the  sharp-shooters  be- 
came hotly  engaged,  and  at  6  o'clock  p.  ra.  General  Ransom's 
Brigade  was  moved  forward  and  made  a  most  brilliant  charge 
on  their  works,  but  by  some  misunderstanding  he  was  not  sup- 
ported and  was  compelled  to  fall  back,  losing  some  good  of- 
cers,  himself  painfully  wounded.  The  following  day  hot 
skinnishing  was  kept  up  during  the  entire  day,  both  armies 
preparing  for  bloody  work.  General  Beauregard  by  this 
time  knew  what  a  superior  force  in  numbers  he  had  to  con- 
tend against,  and  displayed  great  military  skill  in  getting  his 
troops  in  position. 

On  the  morning  of  the  ITtli  he  moved  forward  his  entire 
line,  and  after  a  most  desperate  stiiiggle  for  four  hours,  he 
drove  them  in  some  disorder  to  Bennuda  Hundreds,  under 
cover  of  their  giinboats  in  the  James  and  Appomattox  rivers. 
Thus  the  "bottling  up  of  Butler,"  so  gi-aphically  detailed  by 
General  Grant,  was  completed,  and  the  military  career  of 
this  "Beast  and  modem  Falstaff"  was  at  an  end  (at  least 
in  Virginia). 

In  this  battle  our  loss  was  very  heavy — 3,000  in  killed 
and  wounded.  Among  the  killed  was  our  noble  Major 
Rogers,  who  fell  pierced  by  two  balls,  while  gallantly  leading 
this  regiment.  Our  new  men  behaved  admirably,  but  being 
inexperienced  a  great  many  were  killed. 

After  this  battle  our  entire  regiment,  save  commissioned 
officers,  were  duly  exchanged  and  returned  for  duty,  swelling 
our  ranks  to  700  men.  At  this  time  we  only  had  five  com- 
missioned officers  on  duty,  and  the  arduous  duty  of  com- 
manding these  men  devolved  upon  them  alone. 

We  remained  here  several  days  watching  the  movements 
of  the  enemy.  From  here  we  were  transported  by  steamers 
to  RiehniDud  to  reinforce  General  Stuart,  wlio  was  then  fight- 
ing a  heavy  column  of  cavali'y  that  was  making  a  raid  on  the 
city.  After  a  fierce  engagement  in  which  General  Stuart 
was  killed,  the  army  withdrew,  leaving  many  of  their  dead 
and  wovmded  behind  them. 

We  were  then  ordered  to  make  a  forced  march,  and  again 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  277 

join  the  main  army  at  Spottsylvania  Court  House.  Upon 
our  an'ival  there  General  Lewis  received  orders  from  Gen- 
eral Lee  in  his  own  handwriting  to  "continue  your  march  by 
most  direct  road  to  Jowls'  Mills  and  Mud  Tavern,  and  join 
General  Ewell's  Corps  between  Stannard  Mills  and  Crutch- 
field's  ;  lose  no  time,  and  bring  up  your  men  in  good  order." 
This  order  forced  General  Lewis  to  march  his  men  37  miles 
that  day,  which  was  one  of  the  longest  marches  in  one  day  on 

After  reporting  to  General  Ewell,  we  were  assigned  to 
Early's  Division  again,  and  had  the  honor  of  bringing  up 
the  retreat  to  Hanover  Junction,  and  not  being  pressed  at 
this  time  by  military  exigencies,  were  allowed  to  spend  a 
quiet  Sabbath  in  camp. 

The  next  morning  we  moved  for  Mechanicsville,  where  we 
had  a  brisk  skirmish  with  the  cavalry,  which  was,  as  usual, 
soon  driven  back.  On  11  June  we  reached  Petersburg  and 
took  position  in  the  trenches  near  the  city.  This  position  we 
did  not  fancy,  as  the  enemy  could  "pick  at"  us  from  the 
slightest  exposure.  But,  much  to  our  comfort  and  surprise, 
we  only  remained  in  this  position  four  days,  when  orders 
were  received  to  be  ready  to  march  in  a  short  time. 


On  the  14th  our  entire  corps  took  up  a  line  of  march  for 
parts  unknown  to  us.  After  marching  some  days  we  reached 
Charlottesville,  and  took  the  cars  for  Lynchburg  to  meet 
Hunter's  army  then  threatening  the  city,  arriving  at  the  lat- 
ter place  at  2  o'clock  p.  m.  We  were  moved  four  miles  west 
of  the  city  and  formed  a  line  of  battle  on  the  Salem  turnpike. 
Our  skirmishers  were  advanced,  and  soon  attacked  the  enemy 
in  a  spirited  manner,  and  they  fell  back  to  Liberty  in  much 
confusion,  we  pressing  them  so  closely  they  left  many  wagons, 
prisoners  and  commissary  stores  behind. 

On  the  morning  of  the  22d  we  crossed  the  mountain  range 
at  Buford's  Still  in  pursuit,  and  at  Hanging  Eock  they  were 
intercepted  by  our  cavalry  and  a  brisk  little  fight  took  place, 
in  which  they  lost  200  prisoners,  15  pieces  of  artillery,  150 
horses,  and  many  wagons  laden  with  stores. 

278  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

The  infantry  was  then  so  much  exhaust<?d  from  quick 
marches  and  hot  weather,  that  they  were  compelled  to  give 
up  the  pursuit  and  rest  a  day.  This  pursuit  was  still  kept 
up  for  two  days  by  our  cavalry  until  reinforcements  came  to 
their  assistance. 

On  the  following  day  we  moved  northward.  Upon  reach- 
ing ]^exingt-on,  our  corps  was  filed  to  the  left  for  the  purpose 
of  passing  through  the  cemetery  to  pay  our  respects  to  the 
memory  of  our  fallen  commander,  the  brilliant,  matchless 
and  immortal  Jackson,  who  had  ''crossed  over  the  river  and 
rested  under  the  shade  of  tlie  trees."  Upon  approaching 
the  gi'ave,  arms  were  reversed  and  in  perfect  silence  we 
passed  the  sacred  spot  with  sadness  depicted  in  ever^^  man's 

After  this  we  crossed  the  Shenandoah  river  and  moved  on 
to  j\It.  Jackson,  where  Lieutenant-Colonel  Ellis,  of  this  regi- 
ment, having  been  exchanged,  joined  us  and  took  command 
of  the  regiment.  2  July  we  passed  Middletown  and  New- 
town, and  camped  in  four  miles  of  Winchester.  The  next 
day  we  came  in  contact  with  a  considerable  force  of  the  en- 
emy and  after  a  brisk  skirmish  they  fled,  leaving  several 
pieces  of  artillery  and  a  good  many  wagons. 

8  July  we  crossed  over  into  Marjdand,  "My  Maryland," 
near  Shepherdstown,  when  there  was  great  rejoicing  among 
us,  as  we  knew  the  heart  of  her  people  was  with  us,  though 
they  were  bound  in  fetters.  We  camped  for  the  night  at 
Sharpsburg.  The  next  day  Ave  passed  through  Boonsboro 
and  Middletown  and  camped  eight  miles  west  of  the  city.  On 
the  12th  we  were  hurried  to  Frederick  Junction,  and  forced 
a  passage  of  the  Monocacy,  and  again  the  "dogs  of  war"  were 
turned  loose.  After  a  struggle  of  three  hours  the  enemy  fled 
with  a  loss  of  1,000  in  killed  and  wounded,  and  700  prison- 
ers.    Our  loss  was  450  killed  and  wounded. 


On  the  14th  we  reached  Kockvillo,  in  the  vicinity  of  Wash- 
ington City,  and  at  once  formed  a  line  of  battle.  Our  sharp- 
shooters advanced  and  drove  the  enemy  from  his  outer  works, 
where  a  beautiful  view  of  the  city  could  be  had.     Our  bri- 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  279 

gade  occupied  a  position  immediately  in  front,  and  across 
the  yard,  of  a  most  magnificent  mansion,  upon  an  elevated 
plain,  from  which  the  dome  of  the  capitol  could  be  seen. 
This  building  was  the  property  of  F.  P.  Blair,  (Postmaster 
General),  and  was  occupied  by  him  until  we  began  to  ad- 
vance upon  the  city.  We  remained  in  this  position  three 
days,  keeping  up  a  spirited  picket  fire,  which  caused  great 
excitement  in  the  city. 

For  some  reason,  unknown  to  us,  we  withdrew  our  line 
without  any  interference,  and  moved  continuously  until  we 
crossed  to  the  south  side  of  the  Potomac,  and  went  into  camp 
at  Big  Springs,  which  is  in  a  few  miles  of  Leestown. 

After  a  rest  of  two  days  we  moved  on,  passed  Hamilton, 
and  before  reaching  Snicker's  Gap  a  dash  was  made  upon  our 
wagon  train  and  seventy  of  our  wagons  captured,  which  were 
soon  recaptured  with  five  pieces  of  the  enemy's  artillery.  We 
then  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge,  and  camped  for  the  night  in 
eight  miles  of  Charlestown. 

1  September,  1864,  we  were  ordered  to  Winchester  to  take 
the  place  of  Kershaw's  Division,  which  was  to  be  sent  to  Rich- 
mond. Our  army  was  much  weakened  by  the  loss  of  this 
Division,  and  it  soon  met  with  a  series  of  disasters.  At  Win- 
chester we  remained  five  days  watching  the  movements  of 
the  enemy,  and  were  occasionally  engaged  in  picket  fighting. 
On  the  19th  a  heavy  force  of  the  enemy  was  hurled  against  us 
which  was  repulsed  till  sun  down.  About  that  time  the 
cavalry  guarding  our  flanks  were  attacked  and  without  being 
pressed,  fled  in  a  shameful  manner,  causing  us  to  leave  our 
strong  works  and  fall  back  in  some  confusion  to  Strasburg, 
where  we  again  formed,  and  all  preparations  made  to  receive 
the  enemy,  who  were  rapidly  approaching.  At  4  o'clock  p.  m., 
on  the  22d  they  made  a  desperate  assault  upon  us  at  Fisher's 
Hill,  and  after  a  struggle  of  three  hours  we  were  driven  back. 
Our  cavalry  being  insufficient  to  protect  our  flanks,  we  again 
had  to  fall  back  under  cover  of  darkness  to  Mt.  Jackson.  In 
these  battles  our  loss  was  unusually  heavy  in  killed  and 
wounded.  Among  the  killed  on  the  19  th  were  Major-Gen  era! 
Rodes  and  Brigadier-General  Godwin,  the  latter  commanding 
our  (Hoke's)  old  brigade,  with  many  other  good  officers.  From 

280  North  Carolina  Troops,   186 1 -'65. 

Mt.  Jackson  we  moved  to  Fort  Republic,  and  were  reinforced 
by  Rosser's  cavalry.  The  enemy  then  had  halted  on  the  east 
side  of  Cedar  Creek,  and  began  to  entrench  themselves.  Gen- 
eral Early  wishing  to  redeem  his  character  as  a  military 
genius,  at  once  resolved  to  move  back  and  attack  them,  and 
by  surprising  and  giving  them  an  unexpected  blow,  a  victory 
might  be  won.  While  his  cavalry  and  artillery  were  making 
a  feint  on  the  right,  his  infantry  would  fall  upon  their  left. 


At  midnight  our  division  was  ordered  to  the  point  of  attack, 
a  distance  of  four  miles  over  a  most  rugged  path  on  the  moun- 
tain side.  We  would  sometimes  lose  our  foot-hold  and  fall 
down  the  mountain  side,  and  would  have  literally  to  pull  our- 
selves up  by  bushes,  roots  or  anything  projecting  from  the 
mountain  side.  With  nothing  to  sustain  us  but  a  determined 
will  and  a  devotion  to  the  cause  in  which  we  were  engaged, 
at  5  o'clock  a.  m.  19  October,  we  reached  the  point  of  attack, 
still  hidden  from  the  enemy  by  a  heavy  fog.  We  forded  and 
partly  swam  the  creek,  and  dashed  into  their  camp  without  fir- 
ing a  gun,  capturing  1,500  prisoners  and  18  pieces  of  artil- 
lery, while  a  good  many  were  in  bed  and  asleep!  We  then  fell 
upon  another  corps  immediately  in  front  of  our  cavalry, 
which  was  soon  panic  stricken,  and  fled  in  dismay,  leaving 
all  their  artillery  behind,  which  was  turned  upon  them.  Our 
infantry  followed  on  closely  for  four  miles,  when  General 
Early  gave  over  the  pursuit. 

A  good  number  of  our  men,  thinking  the  enemy  had  fled 
to  Winchester,  took  advantage  of  this  heavy  fog  and  fell  out 
of  ranks  and  returned  to  plunder  the  camp,  so  rich  in  spoils. 
By  this  outrageous  conduct  our  line  was  weakened,  and  Sher- 
idan's cavalry  coming  to  their  assistance  from  Winchester, 
the  enemy  rallied  and  moved  back  upon  us.  Our  line  was  then 
thrown  in  disorder,  and  soon  retreated  in  much  confusion, 
and  the  fruits  of  this  l>rilliant  victory  lost.  Many  of  us 
were  soon  ridden  down  by  the  cavalry  and  captured,  killed 
or  wounded,  while  our  cavalry  was  of  little  assistanc^^.  The 
writer  of  this  sketch  was  painfully  wounded  in  this  retreat, 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  281 

and  was  carried  six  miles  on  a  liorse  led  by  his  faithful  ser- 
vant, Billy  Williams,  before  his  wound  was  staunched. 

Right  here  I  will  digress  for  one  moment:  ''Billy",  as  he 
was  known  throughout  the  division,  was  unlike  his  race ;  he 
seemed  to  love  the  excitement  of  war,  and  with  his  young 
master,  saw  the  sun  rise  at  Bethel  and  go  down  at  Appomat- 
tox. And  for  the  betrayal  of  a  squadron  of  yankees  into  our 
lines,  his  name  was  placed  upon  the  rolls  of  honor  in  Ral- 

The  enemy  recaptured  all  their  prisoners  and  guns  they 
had  lost  in  the  morning  and  captured  from  us  equally  as 
many  as  they  lost.  Major-General  Ramseur  was  killed. 
Lieutenant-Colonels  S.  McD.  Tate  and  A.  Ellis,  commanding 
the  Sixth  and  Fifty-fourth  North  Carolina  Regiments,  with 
many  other  good  officers,  were  severely  wounded  in  this  try- 
ing disaster.  Our  brigade  suffered  intensely  in  this  cam- 
paign, losing  seven  different  commanders  in  the  course  of  six 
"sveeks'  time. 


The  battle  of  Cedar  Creek  was  the  last  event  of  importance 
in  the  Valley  campaign,  and  practically  closed  it.  The  de- 
feat of  General  Early  and  the  desolation  of  the  Valley  by 
Sheridan  made  it  impossible  for  an  army  to  remain  in  that 
region.  These  failures  caused  much  feeling  of  indignation 
against  General  Early,  and  he  was  soon  relieved  of  his  com- 
mand. The  remnant  of  his  army  was  then  placed  under 
command  of  General  J.  B.  Gordon,  and  sent  back  to  Peters- 
burg. Our  division  was  assigTied  to  General  Pegram,  and 
sent  nine  miles  west  of  the  city  on  the  Boydtown  Plank  road, 
where  we  went  into  some  cabins  that  had  been  built  by  other 
troops  for  winter  quarters.  Here  we  remained  three  days 
only,  before  the  enemy  began  to  manceuver  in  our  front, 
when  we  were  called  out,  and  in  a  short  time  our  division 
and  Gordon's  (which  had  just  come  up)  were  attacked  at 
Hatcher's  Run  6  Febiiiary,  1865,  and  a  struggle,  unprece- 
dented in  its  fui-y,  and  protracted  beyond  all  expecta- 
tions, was  commenced,  and  we  were  soon  compelled  to  fall 
back   a   short  distance.     Mahone's   and  Wilcox's  Divisions 

282  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

came  to  our  relief,  and  by  indefatigable  exertion  we  regained 
our  former  position,  and  the  enemy  fled  in  confusion.  Our 
loss  was  very  heavy  in  killed  and  wounded.  Among  the  killed 
was  our  much  lamented  General,  the  "gay  and  gallant" 
Pegram,  who  had  been  married  but  a  few  days. 

From  here  we  were  moved  two  miles  below  Petersburg, 
and  placed  in  Walker's  Division,  and  took  positions  in  the 
trenches  formerly  occupied  by  General  Ransom  and  at  some 
points  in  a  stone's  throw^  of  the  enemy.  Here  we  had  a  long 
rest,  but  were  much  annoyed  by  the  daily  shellings  from  their 
heavy  guns. 


At  4:45  a.  m.,  25  March,  1865,  a  detail  from  our  brigade 
and  another  emerged  from  our  works  in  column  of  at- 
tack and  dashed  across  the  narrow  space  that  separated  the 
two  armies,  tore  away  the  abatis  and  nished  into  Fort 
Stedman,  completely  surprising  the  garrison  and  canned  the 
works.  Instantly  the  captured  gims  were  turned  upon 
the  adjacent  forts  and  in  a  short  time  a  brigade  of  the  enemy 
w^as  put  to  flight,  and  three  batteries  on  our  flanks  were 
abandoned,  and  were  for  a  short  time  in  our  possession. 
In  this  brilliant  charge  many  pieces  of  artillery  were 
taken  and  spiked,  and  five  hundred  prisoners,  including 
one  Brigadier-General,  were  captured.  General  Gordon 
opened  this  battle  with  great  spirit  and  skill,  but  was 
not  sustained.  The  troops  on  his  right  made  but  a  feeble  de- 
monstration, and  were  soon  repulsed.  The  enemy  in  a  short 
time  recovered  from  the  surprise  and  poured  in  a  hurricane  of 
shells  into  the  works  they  had  just  lost,  at  the  ^ame  time 
throwing  forward  a  heavy  line  of  infantry,  which  caused  us 
to  fall  back,  losing  many  prisoners  and  a  great  many  killed 
and  woimded.  This  repulse  was  followed  up  and  after  a 
stubborn  resistance  our  picket  line  was  taken,  and  then  a  lull 
in  the  tempest  for  one  day,  which  was  but  a  prelude  to  its 
final  and  resistless  burst.  "The  mighty  huntsman  now  had 
the  srame  seciire  in  his  toils,  and  onlv  awaited  the  moment  of 
his  exhaustion  to  dispatch  him." 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  283 

the  retreat  to  appomattox. 

On  2  April,  1865,  a  most  terrific  bombardment  from  one 
end  of  the  line  to  the  other  commenced.  At  the  same  time  the 
enemy's  infantry  surged  forward  like  a  mighty  wave,  and 
rolled  up  to  our  works.  As  one  line  recoiled  from  our  deadly 
fire  another  would  take  its  place,  as  though  determined  to 
break  through  by  sheer  weight  of  numbers.  Our  little  band, 
so  much  exhausted  from  hard  fighting  and  superhuman  exer- 
tions, was  compelled  to  fall  back  in  the  direction  of  Appomat- 
tox river.  Following  the  river  by  the  most  accessible  roads, 
we  reached  Amelia  Court  House,  thirty-eight  miles  from 
where  we  started.  Here  General  Lee  expected  to  find 
a  quantity  of  supplies  for  his  troops,  but,  by  an  inexcusable 
blunder  of  the  Richmond  authorities  the  cars  passed  by  with- 
out stopping  to  unload  the  supplies.  We  then  had  been  two 
days  without  any  food,  and  not  a  ration  to  be  had.  Our  dis- 
appointment was  complete,  for  the  condition  we  were  left  in 
was  desperate,  and  for  some  time  we  were  wrapped  in  dis- 
consolate silence.  But  for  this  blunder,  General  Lee  could 
have  preserved  his  army  intact  and  passed  Burkeville  in 
safety  before  the  enemy  could  have  reached  there.  On  the 
night  of  the  5th  we  left  Amelia  Court  House,  marching  by 
way  of  Deatonville  in  the  direction  of  Farmville.  Upon 
reaching  Sailor's  creek,  and  after  some  desperate  fighting 
and  losing  some  of  our  best  men,  we  moved  on  to  Gettersville, 
a  distance  of  four  miles,  much  jaded,  footsore,  and  half 
starved,  and  soon  became  engaged  in  another  desperate  fight, 
in  which  our  lamented  Captain  A.  H.  Martin,  commanding 
this  regiment,  fell  instantly  killed,  while  gallantly  holding 
his  men  to  the  front.  When  the  enemy  reached  his  dead 
body,  they  had  it  decently  interred,  and  wrote  upon  an  en- 
velop, placing  it  upon  the  grave,  "^Here  lies  the  body  of 
a  brave  man.  Captain  Martin,  of  the  Fifty-fourth  North 
Carolina."  In  this  battle  our  regiment  lost  more  than  three- 
fourths  of  its  men  in  killed,  wounded  and  prisoners,  after 
which  the  remnant  moved  on  to  Farmville,  and  found  that 
the  enemy  had  just  taken  a  battery  in  our  front  and  had  in 
possession  our  only  line  of  retreat.     General  Lee  at  this  crit- 

284  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

ical  moment  seemed  very  much  exercised,  and  evinced  a  de- 
sire to  lead  a  charge  on  them  if  his  men  would  follow.  At 
once  many  exclaimed,  "No,  no,  but  if  you  will  retire  we  will 
do  the  work."  As  he  rode  off,  General  W.  G.  Lewis,  our 
brigade  commander,  so  distinguished  for  his  intrepid  valor, 
rallied  a  few  men  and  led  the  charge  until  he,  with  many 
others,  fell  severely  wounded,  and  was  unavoidably  left  in 
the  hands  of  the  enemy.  The  writer  of  this  sketch  was  then 
acting  as  his  Inspector  General,  and  was  the  only  member 
of  his  staff  that  was  left  to  tell  the  tale  of  this  bloody  trag- 

This  charge  was  evidently  the  last  one  of  importance.  As 
the  enemy  moved  on  for  a  stronger  position  in  our  front,  un- 
der cover  of  darkness,  we  moved  on  sluggishly,  and  at  every 
step  some  brave  man  was  compelled  to  step  out  of  ranks 
from  overpowering  fatigue.  At  12  o'clock  M.  we  reached 
the  vicinity  of  Appomattox  Court  House,  and  had  a  few 
hours  of  repose,  which  was  so  much  neede<:l. 


On  the  morning  of  the  9th  an  advance  was  begun,  but  find- 
ing overpowering  numbers  in  our  front,  and  upon  all  sides, 
this  little  army  then  reduced  to  something  over  8,000  in- 
fantry and  3,000  cavalry  and  artillery  actually  in  line,  was 
halted  pending  negotiations  for  its  sun-ender,  which  was 
made  on  that  bright  Sabbath  day.  On  the  succeeding  days 
the  rolls  were  made  out  and  the  army  paroled  in  accordance 
with  the  terms  agreed  upon  between  Generals  Lee  and  Grant. 
The  fragments  from  the  various  commands  were  gathered 
and  marched  to  a  spot  designated  for  that  purpose,  stacked 
their  arms  and  deposited  a  few  furled  colors.  Plaving  re- 
ceived their  paroles,  our  battle  and  famine-worn  soldiers  took 
up  the  lino  of  march  for  those  homes  they  had  so  bravely 
fought  to  defend  for  four  long  years  of  blood,  hardship  and 

Thus  closes  the  volume  of  the  bloody  record  of  the  Fifty- 
fourth  Regiment  of  North  Carolina  troops,  and  to  those  of  us 
who  still  survive,  it  is  indeed  pleasant  to  recall  that  fearful 
struggle  for  independence  and  to  look  back  upon  a  series  of 

Fifty-Fourth  Regiment.  286 

battles  and  victories  unequalled  in  history ;  and  every  one  of 
us  will  speak  with,  pride  of  the  time  when  he  was  a  soldier  in 
the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia. 

N'oTE. — I  have  been  much  indebted  to  General  W.  G. 
Lewis  (who  has  since  died)  for  information;  also  tO'  Mrs. 
Paris,  who  so  kindly  furnished  me  with  diaries  containing 
data,  casualties,  etc.,  that  were  written  by  our  beloved  old 
Chaplain,  the  late  Rev.  John  Paris,  who  was  so  noted  for  his 
piety,  and  untiring  devotion  to  the  cause  in  which  we  were 
engaged.     He  was  indeed  one  of  God's  nobility. 

J.  Marshall  Williams. 
Fayetteville,  N.  C, 

9  April,  1901. 

.yj^^t'r     ■  ■' **"^■ 


1.  A.  H.  Belo,  Colonel.  3.    R.n-  William  Royall  Chaplain. 

2.  John  Kerr  Connally.  Colonel.  4.     I)    D   Dickson.  Captain,  Oo.  C. 

5.     C.  SI.  Cooke,  1st  Lieut,  ami  acting  Adjutant. 


By  CHARLES  M.  C^OOKE,  Adjutant. 

The  Fifty-fifth  North  Uarolina  Regiment  was  organized  at 
Camp  Mangum,  near  Raleigh,  in  the  early  part  of  1862.  The 
companies  composing  the  regiment  were : 

Company  A — From,  Wilson  County — William  J.  Bullock, 

Company  B — From  Wilhes  County — Abner  S.  Calloway, 

Company  C — From  Cleveland  County — Silas  D.  Randall, 

Company  E — From  Pitt  County — James  T.  Whitehead, 

Company  F — From  Clejseland,  BurJce  and  Cataivha  Coun- 
ties— Peter  M.  Mull,  of  Catawba  county,  Captain. 

Company  G — From  Johnston  County — J.  P.  Williams, 

Company  H — From,  Alexander  and  Onslow  Counties — 
Vandevere  Teague,  Captain;  Alexander  J.  Pollock,  First 

Company  I — From  Franklin  County — ^Wilson  H.  Wil- 
liams, Captain. 

Company  K — From  Granville  County — Maurice  T. 
Smith,  Captain. 

John  Kerr  Connelly,  of  Yadkin  county,  who  was  for  a 
while  at  the  N'ational  !N"aval  Academy  at  Annapolis,  and 
who  had  been  Captain  of  a  company  in  the  Eleventh  Regi- 
ment of  North  Carolina  Volunteers,  was  elected  Colonel 
of  the  regiment. 

Captain  Abner  S.  Calloway,  of  Company  B,  was  elected 

Captain  James  T.  Whitehead,  of  Company  E,  was  elec- 
ted Major. 

288  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

William  H.  Young,  of  Granville  county,  was  appointed 

W.  N.  Holt,  of  Company  G,  was  appointed  Sergeant 

Geokge  W.  Blount,  of  Wilson  county,  (Quartermaster. 

W.  P.  Webb,  of  Granville  county,  Commissary. 

Dr.  James  Smith,  of  Granville  county,  Surg-eon. 

De.  Isaac  G.  Cannady,  of  Granville  county,  Assistant 

Rev.  William  Royall.  of  Wake  Forest  College,  Chaplain. 

A.  H.  Dunn,  of  Company  I,  Quartermaster-Sergeant. 

W.  B.  Royall,  of  Company  I,  Commissary  Sergeant. 

J.  W.  C.  Young,  Ordnance  Sergeant. 

Peterson  Thorpe,  of  Company  K,  Hospital  Steward. 

Charles  E.  Jackey,  of  Pitt  county,  Chief  Musician. 

Lieutenant-Colonel  Calloway  resigned  and  Major  White- 
head died  within  a  few  months  after  the  organization  of  the 
regiment,  and  Captain  Maurice  T.  Smith,  of  Company  K, 
was  made  Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  Captain  A.  H.  Belo,  of 
Salem,  who  commanded  a  company  in  the  Eleventh  Regiment 
of  North  Carolina  Volunteers,  was  made  Major.  Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Smith  was  killed  at  Gettysburg  and  Major  Belo 
became  Lieutenant-Colonel,  and  upon  the  resignation  of  Col- 
onel Connally,  on  account  of  severe  wounds  received  in  the 
same  battle,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Belo  became  Colonel.  On 
account  of  the  fact  that  the  senior  Captain  of  the  regiment 
was  in  prison  from  Gettysburg  until  the  close  of  the  war,  the 
regiment  had  no  other  field  officers. 

Adjutant  Young  resigned  in  November,  1862  and  Henry 
T.  Jordan,  of  Person  county,  was  appointed  Adjutant.  He 
was  captured  at  Gettysburg  and,  after  that  Lieutenant  Chas. 
R.  Jones,  of  Iredell  county,  acted  as  xldjutant  for  several 
months  and  then  C.  M.  Cooke,  from  Company  I,  was  assigned 
to  that  position  and  held  it  until  the  close  of  the  war.  Surgeon 
Jas.  Smith  resigned  in  December,  1862,  and  Dr.  B.  T. 
Greene,  of  Franklin  county,  was  appointed  Surgeon.  A.  H. 
Dunn  died  in  August,  1862,  and  Henry  S.  Furman,  of 
Franklin  county,  was  appointed  Assistant  Quartermaster  Ser- 
geant.    W.  N.  Holt,  Sergeant-Ma j or,  was  made  Lieutenant 

Fifty- Fifth  Regiment.  289 

in  Company  II,  and  Jesse  A.  Adams,  of  Johnston  county,  was 
made  Sergeant-Major. 

The  regiment,  after  it  had  been  sufficiently  drilled  to  take 
the  field,  was  sent  to  the  Department  of  the  Pamlico,  then  un- 
der the  command  of  General  James  G.  Martin,  and  remained 
there  during  the  summer  and  early  part  of  the  fall  of  1862. 
It  was  on  duty  a  greater  part  of  the  time  around  Kinston  and 
in  Trenton.  The  first  time  the  regiment  was  under  fire  was 
on  7  AugTist,  1862.  A  Federal  gunboat  had  come  up  the 
Neuse  to  a  point  a  few  miles  below  Kinston,  and  the  regiment 
was  sent  down  to  prevent  the  landing  of  the  troops.  We 
were  formed  in  a  line  on  the  south  side  of,  and  not  far  from 
the  river ;  the  gunboat  came  up  to  a  point  nearly  opposite  the 
position  occupied  by  the  regiment,  but  after  the  firing  of  a 
few  shells  went  back  without  attempting  to  land  any  troops. 

The  regiment  during  the  time  spent  in  that  section  was 
thoroughly  drilled  and  disciplined. 


On  3  September,  while  the  regiment  was  in  camp  near 
LaGrange,  there  was  a  special  order  read  on  dress  parade 
that  200  men  were  needed  for  daring  service  and  volunteers 
were  called  for.  That  number  was  at  once  obtained  and  they 
were  organized  into  two  companies  of  100  each.  Captain 
P.  M.  Mull,  of  Company  F,  was  put  in  command  of  one  com- 
pany, and  Captain  Maurice  T.  Smith,  of  Company  K,  in 
command  of  the  other,  and  the  Lieutenants  were  selected  from 
the  different  companies.  Captain  Williams,  of  Company  I, 
was  so  anxious  to  be  among  the  number  that  he  procured  the 
consent  of  the  Colonel  to  his  going  as  First  Lieutenant  of  one 
of  the  companies.  It  was  ordered  that  these  companies  be 
prepared  with  three  days'  rations  to  march  the  next  morning 
at  sunrise.  Captain  Mull  was  senior  officer  and  in  command 
of  the  detachment.  Just  as  the  sun  rose  the  next  morning 
we  moved  out  of  camp,  marching  a  little  north  of  east,  and  we 
were  then  informed  that  the  movement  meant  a  surprise  at- 
tack upon  Washington,  IST.  C,  and  that  we  would  be  joined  be- 
fore we  reached  the  place  by  other  troops.  We  met  on  the 

290  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

•5tli,  Ijetween  Greenville  and  Washington,  a  detachment  from 
the  Eighth,  and  also  from  the  Seventeenth  Regiment,  and  an 
artillery  company,  but  without  cannon,  armed  as  infantry, 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  S.  D.  Pool,  who,  from  this 
time,  being  the  ranking  officer,  took  command  of  the  force  on 
the  march,  although  General  J.  G.  ]\Iartin  had  the  general 
direction  of  the  movement.  Later,  Captain  R.  S.  Tucker, 
with  his  company  of  cavalry,  joined  us.  We  camped  on  the 
night  of  the  5th  within  a  few  miles  of  Washington,  and  be- 
fore dawn  the  next  morning,  we  commenced  our  march  upon 
the  town.  We  struck  the  Federal  pickets  just  outside  of 
the  town  before  it  was  fairly  light;  we  followed  at  double- 
quick,  and  with  a  "Rebel  Yell,"  entered  the  town.  The  Fed- 
eral troops  were  taken  by  surprise,  and  after  firing  a  round 
or  two,  fell  back  through  the  town  upon  the  river,  under  cover 
of  their  gunboats.  We  were  in  possession  of  the  town,  the 
troops  from  our  regiment  being  stationed  on  a  square  near  the 
center  of  the  town.  We  held  the  position  for  several  hours, 
but  the  cannon  from  the  gunboats  were  turned  upon  us,  and 
the  Federal  infantry,  having  re-formed,  commenced  to  fire 
upon  us  with  long  range  rifles,  while  we  were  armed  with  the 
old  smooth-bore  muskets.  We  were  forced  to  fall  back  to  the 
place  where  we  had  camped  the  night  before ;  the  enemy  did 
not  pursue  us,  and  the  next  day  we  commenced  our  march 
back  to  camp.  Captains  Mull  and  Williams,  both  of  whom 
behaved  with  great  bravery,  were  wounded ;  of  the  men  of 
the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  engaged,  seven  were  killed  and  eight 
wounded.  There  was  no  other  meeting  with  Federal  forces 
while  the  regiment  was  in  this  section. 

On  1  October,  while  the  regiment  was  doing  picket  duty  at 
Wise's  Fork,  between  Kinston  and  New  Bern,  it  was  ordered 
to  Virginia,  and  for  a  while  did  provost  duty  in  the  city  of 
Petersburg.  With  the  Second,  Eleventh,  and  Forty-second 
Mississippi,  it  was  formed  into  a  brigade,  and  General  Joseph 
R.  Davis  was  assigned  to  its  command.  The  regiment  re- 
mained in  this  brigade  until  January,  1865,  when  it  was 
transferred  to  Cooke's  Brigade.  The  Twenty-sixth  Missis- 
sippi Regiment  and  the  First  Confederate  Battalion  were 
brought  into  the  brigade  in  the  early  part  of  1864.     It  was  a 

THE  NEW  T0^5g:i 




1      James  S.  AVhitehead,  Major.  4.     H.  G.  Whitehead,  Captain,  Co.  E. 

2.  \V.  II.  Williams,  Captain,  Co.  I.  5.    Robert  W.  Thomas,  Captain,  Co.  K. 

3.  P.  M.  Mull,  Captain,  Co.  F. 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  291 

fine  brigade.  The  Second  and  Eleventh  Mississippi,  with 
the  Fourth  Alabama  and  the  Sixth  North  Carolina,  had  con- 
stituted the  immortal  Bee  Brigade  at  the  first  battle  of  Man- 
assas, and  General  Whiting  afterwards  commanded  that  brig- 
ade. In  forming  the  brigade  for  General  Davis,  the  Sixth 
N^orth  Carolina  was  sent  to  Hoke's  Brigade,  the  Fourth  Ala- 
bama was  transferred  to  a  brigade  of  Alabama  troops,  and 
the  Forty-second  Mississippi,  which  was  brought  to  the  Army 
of  Northern  Virginia  for  that  purpose,  and  the  Fifty-fifth 
North  Carolina,  took  their  places  in  the  old  brigade.  Al- 
though all  the  other  regiments,  except  the  Fifty-fifth,  were 
from  Mississippi,  their  relations  with  the  officers  and  men  of 
that  regiment  were  quite  as  pleasant  as  they  were  with  each 
other.  The  regiments  of  Davis'  Brigade  were  a  part  of  the 
force  which  General  Longstreet  carried  to  Suffolk,  Va.,  in 
the  spring  of  1863. 


It  was  while  near  Suffolk  that  an  incident  occurred  which 
illustrates  the  high  spirit  of  the  officers  of  the  regiment 
and  how  jealous  they  were  of  its  honor.  One  evening  about 
dark,  a  heavy  piece  of  Confederate  artillery  was  cap- 
tured by  an  unexpected  and  sui'prise  attack  by  a  brigade  of 
Federal  troops.  Captain  Terrell  and  Captain  Cousins,  the 
one  Assistant  Adjutant-General  of  General  Laws'  Brig- 
ade, and  the  other  on  the  staff  of  that  General,  reported  that 
the  Fifty-fifth  North  Carolina  had  been  assigTied  to  protect 
the  battery,  whereas,  in  fact,  it  was  a  mistake.  As  soon  as 
Colonel  Connally  heard  of  the  report,  he  went  to  see  those 
gentlemen  and  stated  to  them  that  they  were  mistaken ;  that 
the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  had  held  the  position  to  which  it 
had  been  assigned,  and  was  in  no  way  responsible  for  the  dis- 
aster; and  demanded  that  they  should  correct  their  report 
at  once.  This  they  declined  to  do.  Thereupon  Colonel  Con- 
nally returned  to  his  regiment,  called  a  meeting  of  the  field 
officers  and  Captains,  stated  the  circumstances  to  them,  and 
insisted  that  the  honor  of  the  regiment  required  that  its  of- 
ficers should  demand  satisfaction  from  those  who  had  slan- 
dered it.     He  proposed  that  the  field  officers  should  first  chal- 

292  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

lenge  the  Alabamians,  and  if  the  matter  was  not  satisfactorily 
arranged,  consistent  with  the  honor  of  the  regiment,  and  if 
they  should  be  killed,  each  officer  should  pledge  himself  to 
take  up  the  quarrel  and  fight  until  the  last  man  was  killed, 
unless  proper  amends  should  sooner  be  obtained.  To  this  the 
officers  generally  assented,  but  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith, 
who  was  an  elder  in  the  Presbyterian  Church,  and  a  young 
soldier  of  unquestionable  bravery,  arose  and  stated  that  he 
was  conscientiously  opposed  to  duelling,  and  that  he  would 
not  resort  to  that  method  of  settling  any  question.  Colonel 
Smith's  Christian  character  and  his  personal  courage  were 
so  well  known,  that  his  scruples  on  the  subject  were  respected, 
and  Major  Belo  proposed  to  take  his  place ;  and  so  it  was 
aiTanged  that  Colonel  Connally  should  challenge  Captain 
Terrell,  and  Major  Belo  should  challenge  Captain  Cousins, 
Captain  Satterfield,  of  Person  county,  of  Company  H,  was 
Colonel  Connally's  second,  and  Lieutenant  W.  H.  Townes,  of 
Granville,  of  Company  D,  was  Major  Belo's.  The  challenges 
were  accepted  and  Captain  Terrell  selected  as  weapons  double 
barreled  shotguns,  loaded  with  buckshot,  and  Captain  Cousins 
selected  the  Mississippi  rifle  at  forty  paces.  According  to 
appointment,  the  parties  next  day  met  in  a  large  field  in  the 
neighborhood,  in  one  part  of  which  were  Colonel  Connally 
and  Captain  Terrell  and  their  friends.  In  another  part  were 
Major  Belo  and  Captain  Cousins  and  their  friends.  As  soon 
as  Major  Belo  and  Captain  Cousins  came  to  their  place  of 
meeting,  they  took  the  positions  assigned  to  them  by  the  sec- 
onds, and  at  the  command,  fired  their  first  shot.  Major 
Belo's  shot  passed  through  Captain  Cousins'  hat,  and  Cap- 
tain (\>usins'  first  shot  entirely  missed  Major  Belo.  Cap- 
tain Cousins'  second  shot  passed  through  the  coat  of  Major 
Belo  just  above  the  shoulder  and  Major  Belo's  second  fire 
missed  Captain  Cousins.  In  the  meantime,  in  the  other  part 
of  tlio  field,  tlie  friends  of  Colonel  Connally  and  Captain 
Terrell  were  engaged  in  an  effort  to  make  an  honorable  settle- 
ment of  the  affair,  and  Captain  Terrell,  who  was  a  gallant 
officer  and  triie  gentleman,  became  satisfied  that  he  had  been 
mistaken  in  the  report  which  he  had  made  and  which  had 
been  the  cause  of  offence,  and  he  withdrew  the  same,  which 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  293 

action  prevented  any  further  hostilities  between  him  and  Col- 
onel Connally,  and  came  just  in  time  to  prevent  the  exchange 
of  a  third  shot  between  Major  Belo  and  Captain  Cousins. 


On  the  night  of  30  April  Davis'  Brigade  w^as  in  the  front  of 
the  town  of  Suffolk,  which  was  occupied  by  the  Federals,  and 
around  which  the  Union  forces  were  stationed  behind  fomiid- 
able  intrenchments.  About  9  o'clock  that  night  Major  Belo 
was  sent  with  four  companies  of  the  regiment  to  relieve  the 
pickets  in  the  rifle  pits  to  our  front,  with  instructions  to  hold 
the  position  in  case  there  should  be  an  attack.  The  next  day 
the  Federal  forces  made  several  demonstrations  in  front  of 
the  rifle  pits,  and  in  the  afternoon  opened  upon  them  with 
several  pieces  of  artillery.  Captain  Mull,  by  command  of 
Colonel  Connally,  took  Company  F  to  the  support  of  the  men 
in  the  rifle  pits,  and  very  gallantly  did  Captain  Mull  and  his 
company  do  this,  for  they  went  through  a  severe  artillery  fire 
for  nearly  three  quarters  of  a  mile,  and  although  they  lost 
some  of  their  best  men,  they  never  faltered.  About  the  same 
time  two  Federal  infantry  regiments  came  outside  their 
breastworks,  and  formed  into  line.  Colonel  Connally  then 
ordered  Major  Belo  to  reinforce  the  men  in  the  rifle  pits  with 
four  other  companies  of  the  regiment.  This  was  promptly 
accomplished  under  a  very  fierce  fire  and  not  without  loss. 
The  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  was  the  only  regiment  on  the  line 
that  was  armed  with  the  old  smooth-bore  muskets.  The  oth- 
ers were  armed  with  rifles.  This  must  have  been  discoverd 
by  the  enemy  during  the  day,  and  was  the  cause  of  their 
selection  of  the  part  of  the  line  occupied  by  that  regiment  for 
their  attack.  The  two  Federal  regiments  moved  for^^vard  in 
splendid  order  for  the  attack.  The  Federal  artillery  ceased 
firing  upon  that  part  of  the  field.  The  soldiers  of  both  armies 
on  the  right  and  left  were  watching  with  deep  interest  the 
movement.  The  attacking  column  had  moved  so  near  to  our 
position,  that  the  other  troops  were  beginning  to  whisperingly 
inquire  of  each  other  what  was  the  matter.  But  Major  Belo 
knew  that  the  effectiveness  of  the  ai-ms,  which  his  men  held, 
depended  upon  short  range,  and  cool  and  clear-headed,  as  he 

294  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

always  was,  lie  had  ordered  that  not  a  shot  be  fired  until  he 
gave  the  command.  The  advancing  column  was  now  so  near, 
that  the  features  of  the  men's  faces  could  be  distinguished. 
Every  one  of  the  men  in  the  rifle  pits  had  his  musket  in  posi- 
tion and  his  finger  on  the  trigger,  and  at  the  word  ''fire"  the 
sound  of  Major  Belo's  command,  seemed  to  expand  into  one 
grand  roll  of  musketry;  for  there  had  been  the  fire  of  five 
hundred  muskets  as  if  by  one  man.  Not  one  had  snapped 
fire  and  there  was  not  a  single  belated  shot.  The  shower  of 
leaden  hail  was  too  much  for  human  courage.  The  assault- 
ing regiments  fell  back  in  confusion,  with  some  loss.  But 
they  were  quickly  rallied  by  their  ofiicers,  and  returned  to 
the  attack.  This  time  the  fire  by  Major  Belo's  command 
was  reserved  until  they  had  advanced  several  yards  further 
than  before,  when  again  a  deadly  fire  swept  them  back  with 
greater  loss. 

Again  and  yet  again  they  attempted  to  storm  thq  picket 
force,  but  were  repulsed  each  time,  until  finally  abandoning 
their  purpose,  they  retired  from  the  field.  The  old  smooth 
bore  muskets  in  the  hands  of  500  brave  North  Carolina  pa- 
triots had  done  their  work.  About  this  time  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Smith  came  down  to  ]\Iajor  Belo  with  Colonel  Con- 
nally's  compliments  to  inquire  if  he  needed  other  reinforce- 
ments. Major  Belo  returning  his  compliments  to  Colonel 
Connally,  replied  that  he  thought  the  battle  was  over.  The 
Fifty-fifth  Eegiment  had  been  but  a  short  while  in  Davis' 
Brigade,  and  it  was  their  first  engagement  since  then,  and 
the  cordial  words  of  commendation  of  the  gallant  behavior  of 
the  regiment  expressed  by  the  Mississippians  was  very  grati- 
fying to  us.  Thenceforward  they  were  as  jealous  of  and  aa 
quick  to  defend  the  honor  of  our  regiment  as  we  were  our- 
selves. Some  years  after  the  war,  Major  Belo  met  an  officer 
of  one  of  the  regiments  engaged  in  this  attack,  and  he  in- 
forme<l  IMajor  Belo  that  the  tenn  of  enlistment  of  the  men 
of  those  two  regiments  was  to  expire  the  next  day  and  they 
were  to  be  mustered  out  of  seiwice,  and  that  it  was  at  their 
own  request  they  were  ordered  to  make  the  attack,  but  that 
it  proved  a  very  sad  experience  to  them. 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  295 

Shortly  after  this,  Longstreet  returned  with  his  command 
to  the  Army  of  JSTorthem  Virginia,  our  brigade  accommpany- 
ing  him.  When  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  left  the  cars  at 
Hamilton's  crossing,  near  Fredericksburg,  to  take  its  place  in 
its  brigade  in  Heth's  Division,  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps,  of  the 
Army  of  Northern  Virginia,  it  was  both  in  respect  to  its  disci- 
pline and  its  appearance  one  of  the  finest  regiments  in  the 
army.  Colonel  Connally  was  a  fine  tactician,  and  was  with- 
out a  superior  as  a  disciplinarian.  He  was  admirable  on 
the  field  in  his  handling  of  his  regiment.  The  time  which 
had  been  spent  in  Eastern  ISTorth  Carolina  had  allowed  the 
opportunity  for  the  drilling  of  the  regiment,  and  it  had  been 
faithfully  attended  to.  The  regimental  band,  composed  of 
seventeen  pieces,  led  by  Professor  Charles  E.  Jackey,  edu- 
cated at  Heidelberg,  was  a  very  fine  one.  The  men  of  the 
regiment  were  well  clad,  and  the  ranks  of  each  company  were 
full.  It  was  well  officered,  and  all  had  full  confidence  in  its 
field  officers,  and  no  volunteer  regiment,  in  the  opinion  of 
the  writer,  ever  had  three  better  field  officers.  They  were  all 
young  men — erect  and  soldierly  in  their  bearing,  proud  of 
their  regiment  and  enthusiastic  in  their  patriotism.  Colonel 
Connally  was  about  26  years  of  age.  Daring  in  spirit — with 
confidence  in  himself  and  his  regiment  and  the  pride  of  his 
troops.  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith,  the  eldest,  not  yet  30 
years  of  age,  w^as  from  Granville  county.  He  was  an  ac- 
complished gentleman  and  had  been  a  member  of  the  "Gran- 
ville Grays,"  Company  I),  Twelfth  ISTorth  Carolina  Regi- 
ment. He  was  of  commanding  presence,  and  a  prudent 
and  efficient  officer.  Major  A.  H.  Belo'  w^as  a  fine  specimen 
of  young  Southern  manhood,  had  seen  service  before  as  Cap- 
tain of  Company  D,  Twenty-first  ISTorth  Carolina  Regiment, 
and  was  about  the  same  age  as  Colonel  Connally.  Intrepid, 
but  always  cool  and  ever  alert. 

Changes  had  taken  place  in  the  company  officers  since  the 
organization,  and  the  following  were  the  officers  of  the  com- 
panies at  that  time : 

CoMPA^^Y  A — Captain,  Albert  E.  Upchurch ;  Lieutenants, 
B.  F.  Briggs,  T.  J.  Hadley,  T.  R.  Bass. 

296  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

Company  B — Captain,  George  Gilreath;  Lieutenants, 
John  T.  Peden,  Hiram  L.  Grier. 

Company  C — Captain,  Edward  D.  Dixon;  Lieutenants, 
George  J.  Bethel,  Philip  K.  Elam,  Thomas  D.  Falls. 

Company  D — Captain,  Silas  D.  Randall;  Lieutenants, 
Wm.  H.  Townes,  Jas.  H.  Randall,  Joseph  B.  Cabiness. 

Company  E — Captain,  Howell  G.  Whitehead ;  Lieuten- 
ants, James  A.  Hanrahan,  Godfrey  E.  Taft,  William  S.  Wil- 

Company  F — Captain,  Peter  M.  Mull;  Lieutenants,  Joel 
J.  Hojle,  A.  H.  A.  Williams,  Peter  P.  Mull. 

Company  G— Captain,  Walter  A.  Whitted;  Lieutenants, 
Marcus  C.  Stevens,  Charles  R.  Jones,  Mordecai  Lee. 

Company  H — Captain,  E.  F.  Satterfield ;  Lieutenants,  N. 
W.  Lillington,  Benjamin  H.  Blount,  W.  N.  Holt. 

Company  I- — Captain,  W.  H.  Williams;  Lieutenants,  B. 
H.  Winston,  Charles  M.  Cooke. 

Company  K — Captain,  R.  W.  Thomas ;  Lieutenants,  Wil- 
kins  Stovall,  W.  H.  H.  Cobb,  R.  McD.  Royster. 

The  regiment,  as  it  marched  from  the  railroad  depot  to 
take  its  place  in  the  line,  with  its  bright  arms  gleaming  in  the 
sun  of  that  beautiful  day,  with  quick  martial  step,  its  compa- 
ny officers  splendidly  dressed,  as  if  for  a  grand  parade,  its 
field  officers  mounted  on  fiery  chargers,  and  its  magnificent 
band  playing  first  "Dixie,"  and  then  "Maryland,  My  Mary- 
land"—presented  one  circumstance  of  war,  that  is,  its  pomp, 
and  if  not  its  most  impressive,  certainly  its  least  horrible. 
Little  did  it  occur  to  any  of  us  that  tlie  aspect  of  tliis  organiza- 
tion would  be  so  completely  and  so  unhappily  changed  within 
a  few  weeks. 


The  regiment  crossed  the  Potomac  with  tlie  Army  of 
Nortliern  Virginia  in  fine  spirits,  and  when  it  reached  Cash- 
town  on  the  night  of  29  June,  it  was  in  splendid  condition. 
Tlio  regiment  marched  out  of  Caslitown  early  on  the  morning 
of  1  July,  going  down  the  Chambersburg  Turnpike  toward 
Gettysburg.  We  came  in  sight  of  the  town  about  0  o'clock  a. 
m.      The  T^iiion  forces  were  on  the  ridge  just  outsi<le  of  the 

Fifty- Fifth  Regiment.  297 

town  and  formed  across  the  Turnpike  to  dispute  our  advance. 
Marye's  battery  was  placed  by  General  Hetli  on  the  south  side 
of  the  turnpike  and  opened  fire  on  the  enemy.  Davis'  Brig- 
ade was  immediately  thrown  into  line  of  battle  on  the  north 
of  the  road  and  ordered  to  advance.  Archer's  Brigade  was 
formed  on  the  south  of  the  road  and  was  ordered  forward 
about  the  same  time.  There  was  a  railroad  which  had  been 
graded  but  not  ironed,  which  ran  nearly  parallel  with  the 
turnpike  and  about  one  hundred  yards  from  it.  The  Fifty- 
fifth  Regiment  was  on  the  left  of  the  brigade,  and  owing  to 
the  character  of  the  ground  was  the  first  one  to  come  into  view 
of  the  enemy,  and  received  the  first  fire  in  the  battle.  It  was 
a  volley  fired  by  the  Fifty-sixth  Pennsylvania  Regiment,  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Hoffman,  of  Cutler's  Brigade.  Two  men 
in  the  color  giiard  of  the  -regiment  were  wounded  by  this  vol- 
ley. The  regiment  immediately  returned  the  fire  and  in- 
flicted considerable  loss  upon  the  Fifty-sixth  Pennsylvania 
Regiment.  The  Eleventh  Mississippi  Regiment  Avas  on  de- 
tail duty  that  morning,  sO'  only  three  regiments  of  our  bri- 
gade, the  Second  and  Forty-second  Mississippi  Regiments, 
and  the  Fifty-fifth  North  Carolina,  were  present.  The  regi- 
ments in  our  front  were  the  Seventy-sixth  JSTew"  York,  the  Fif- 
ty-sixth Pennsylvania  and  the  One  Hundred  and  Forty-sev- 
enth New  York  of  Cutler's  Brigade.  After  the  enemy's  posi- 
tion became  known  by  their  first  fire,  our  brigade  charged 
them  in  magnificent  style.  The  left  of  our  regiment  extended 
considerably  beyond  the  right  of  the  enemy's  line — and  at  the 
proper  time  our  left  was  wheeled  to  the  right.  The  enemy 
fled  from  the  field  with  great  loss.  From  the  beginning  of 
this  engagement  it  was  hot  work.  While  the  regiment  was 
advancing.  Colonel  Connally  seized  the  battle  flag  and  waving 
it  aloft  rushed  out  several  paces  in  front  of  the  regi- 
ment. This  drew  upon  him  and  the  color  guard  the  fire  of 
the  enemy  and  he  fell  badly  wounded  in  the  arm  and  hip. 
His  arm  was  afterwards  amputated.  Major  Belo,  who  was 
near  him  at  the  time,  rushed  up  and  asked  him  if  he  was 
badly  wovmded.  Colonel  Connally  replied :  "Yes,  but  do 
not  pay  any  attention  to  me ;  take  the  colors  and  keep  ahead 
of  the  Mississippians."    After  the  defeat  of  the  forces  in  front 

298  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

of  us,  the  brigade  swung  around  bj  the  right  wheel  and 
formed  on  the  railroad  cut.  About  one^half  of  the  Fifty- 
fifth  lleginient  being  on  the  left  extended  beyond  the  cut  on 
the  embankment.  In  front  of  us  there  were  then  the  Ninety- 
fifth  and  Eighty-fourth  ISTew  York  (known  as  the  Fourteenth 
Brooklyn)  Regiments,  who  had  been  supporting  Hall's  bat- 
tery, and  were  the  other  two  regiments  of  Cutler's  Brigade,  and 
the  Sixth  Wisconsin,  of  the  Iron  Brigade,  wliich  had  been  held 
in  reserve,  when  the  other  regiments  of  that  brigade  were  put 
in  to  meet  Archer's  advance.  Just  then  the  order  was  re- 
ceived to  retire  through  the  road-cut,  and  that  the  Fifty-fifth 
North  Carolina  cover  the  retreat  of  the  brigade.  The  Fed- 
eral Regiments  in  front  of  us  threw  themselves  into  line  of 
battle  by  a  well  executed  movement  nothwithstanding  the 
heavy  fire  we  were  pouring  into  them,  and  as  soon  as  their 
line  of  battle  was  formed-,  seeing  a  disposition  on  our  part  to 
retire,  charged.  They  were  held  in  check,  as  well  as  could 
be  done,  by  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  covering  the  retreat  of 
the  brigade ;  a  part  of  the  regiment  was  in  the  road-cut  and 
at  a  great  disadvantage.  One  of  the  Federal  officers  on  the 
embankment,  seeing  Major  Belo  in  the  cut,  threw  his  sword 
at  him,  saying:  "Kill  that  officer,  and  that  will  end  it."  The 
sword  missed  Major  Belo,  but  struck  a  man  behind  him. 
Major  Belo  directed  one  of  the  men  to  shoot  tlie  officer  and 
this  was  done.  This  somewhat  checked  their  charge,  and  we 
fell  back  to  another  position.  The  loss  of  the  regiment  was 
very  great  in  killed  and  wounded,  and  a  large  number  were 
captured  in  the  road-cut.  From  that  time  until  3  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  we  were  not  engaged.  A])out  that  time  Early 
came  in  with  fresh  troops  from  the  left.  We  formed  in  line 
with  them  on  their  right  and  were  hotly  engaged  in  the  bat- 
tles of  that  afternoon,  driving  the  enemy  before  us  and  cap- 
turing a  number  of  prisoners.  At  sundown  we  were  in  the 
edge  of  Gettysburg,  and  the  regiment  was  placed  behind  the 
railroad  embankment  just  in  front  of  the  Seminary.  In  the 
afternoon  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith,  while  the  regiment  was 
waiting  in  reserve,  walked  towards  the  right  to  reconnoitre 
and  was  mortally  wounded  and  died  that  niglit.  Major  Belo 
was  also  severely  wounded  in  the  leg  just  as  the  battle  closed 

^  ISiSW  YOR^I 


The  three  men  wlio  went  farthest  in  the  Pettigrew-Pickett  charge  at  Gettys- 
burg, July  3,  1863. 

1.  E.  Fletcher  Satterfield,  Captain.  Co.  H.    Killed  at  Gettysburg,  July  3,  1863. 

2.  T.  D.  Falls.    Promoted  to  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  C,  Gettysburg,  Julv  3,  1863. 

3.  J.  A.  Whitley.    Promoted  to  Sergeant,  Co.  E,  Gettysburg,  July  3,  1863. 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  299 

that  evening.  Davis'  Brigade,  during  the  night,  was  moved 
from  its  position  on  the  railroad  cut  near  the  Seminary  to  a 
piece  of  woods  across  Willoughby  Run,  west  of  the  mineral 
springs,  and  there  rested  during  the  2d.  On  the  night  of  the 
2d  it  was  moved  to  its  position  on  the  Confederate  line  known 
as  Seminary  Ridge,  on  the  right  center,  and  stationed  in  Mc- 
Millan's woods.  Our  division  (Heth's)  on  the  left  of  Long- 
street,  and  Davis'  Brigade  the  left  centre  of  the  division. 
General  Heth  had  been  wounded  on  the  1st  and  General  Pet- 
tigrew  was  in  command  of  the  division.  General  Pickett's 
Division  of  Longstreet's  Corps  was  on  the  right  of  Heth's 
Division,  and  occupied  a  position  just  in  the  edge  of  Spang- 
ler's  woods. 


It  was  from  these  positions  that  we  moved  out  to  that 
last  fatal  charge,  on  the  afternoon  of  3  July.  Heth's  Divis- 
ion was  not  supporting  Longstreet,  as  has  been  repeatedly 
published,  but  was  on  line  with  his  troops.  Our  regiment 
had  suffered  so  greatly  on  the  1st  that  in  this  charge  it  was 
commanded  by  Captain  Gilreath,  and  some  of  the  companies 
were  commanded  by  non-commissioned  officers.  But  the  men 
came  up  bravely  to  the  measure  of  their  duty,  and  the  regi- 
ment went  as  far  as  any  other  on  that  fatal  charge,  and  we 
have  good  proof  of  the  claim  that  a  portion  of  the  regiment 
led  by  Captain  Satterfield,  who  was  killed  at  this  time, 
reached  a  point  near  the  Benner  barn,  which  was  more  ad- 
vanced than  that  attained  hy  any  othe?'  of  the  assaulting  col- 
umns. Lieutenant  T.  D.  Falls,  of  Company  C,  residing  at 
Fallstown,  Cleveland  county,  and  Sergeant  Augustus  Whit- 
ley, of  Company  E,  residing  at  Everitt's,  in  Martin  county, 
who  were  with  Captain  Satterfield,  have  recently  visited  the 
battlefield,  and  have  made  affidavit  as  to  the  point  reached  by 
them.  This  evidence  has  been  corroborated  from  other 
sources  and  the  place  has  been  marked  by  the  LTnited  States 
commission,  and  the  map  herewith  copied  from  the  United 
States  official  survey  of  this  historic  field  will  show  the  posi- 
tion attained  by  these  men  of  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment,  in 
relation  to  other  known  objects  on  the  battlefield  such  as  the 

300  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

Beiiner  bani  and  the  Bronze  Book  which  marks  the  high- 
water  mark  of  the  struggle  for  Southern  independence.  The 
measurements  for  the  map  were  made  by  the  late  Colonel 
Batchelder,  of  the  United  States  Commission,  and  by  Colonel 
E.  W.  Cope,  United  States  engineer,  for  this  field.  This 
map  shows  that  those  killed  farthest  to  the  front  belonged  to 
the  Fifty-fifth  North  Carolina  Regiment. 

The  forces  engaged  in  this  last  charge  which  settled,  not 
only  the  result  of  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  but  the  fate  of  the 
Confederacy,  were  as  follows : 

Longstreet's  Corps,  composed  of: 

1.  Picheit's  Division — Kemper's  Brif/ade,  First,  Third, 
Seventh,  Eleventh  and  Twenty-fourth  Virginia  Regiments; 
Garnett's  Brigade,  Eighth,  Eighteenth,  Nineteenth,  Twenty- 
eighth  and  Fifty-sixth  Virginia  Regiments,  supporte<l  by 
Armistead's  Brigade,  Ninth,  Fourteenth,  Thirty-eighth, 
Fifty-third  and  Fifty-seventh  Virginia  Regiments  in  the  sec- 
ond line. 

2.  Iletli's  Division,  connnanded  by  Brigadier-General  Pct- 
tigrew ;  Archer  s  Bngade,  commanded  by  Colonel  Fry,  Thir- 
teenth Alabama  Regiment,  Fifth  Alabama  Battalion,  and 
the  First,  Seventh  and  Fourteenth  Tennessee  Regiments; 
Pettigi^ew's  Brigade,  commanded  by  Colonel  Marshall,  Elev- 
enth, Twenty-sixth,  Forty-seventli  and  Fifty-second  North 
Carolina  Regiments;  Davis'  Brigade,  Second  ^'eventh  and 
Forty-second  Mississippi  Regiments  and  the  Fifty-fifth 
North  Carolina  Regiment ;  Brochenhorough' s  Brigade,  For- 
tieth, Forty-seventh  and  Fifty-fifth  Virginia  Regiments,  and 
Twenty-second  Virginia  Battalion. 

3.  One-half  of  General  Pender's  Division,  t.o-wit. :  Scales' 
Brigade,  commanded  by  Colonel  Lowrance,  Thirteenth,  Six- 
teenth, Twenty-second,  Thirty-fourtli  and  Thirty-eighth 
North  Carolina  Regiments,  and  Lane's  Bngade,  Seventh, 
Eighteenth,  Twenty-eiglith,  Tliirty-third  and  Thirty-seventh 
North  Carolina  Regiments. 

So  there  were  eighteen  regiments  and  one  battalion  from 
Virginia,  fifteen  regiments  from  North  C.  rolina,  three  reg- 
iments from  Mississippi,  three  regiments    from    Tennessee, 

[the  new  YORl^l 


showing  +he  scene  of 


ON    THE     UNION     LINES   AT 

GETTYSBURG,  JULY  3,  1863 

anci  fhe  !bsifion5offher^5pecfiKbodies(fTroops1hensinofhaihamiies 


one  bosecf  \jpor  fhe  evicence  carefully  gathered  frorr 
all  sources  ana  cclia^aa   by  said  Commission. 

lt.ColE.B. cope.  Engineer. 





200  300        400 





SH. Hammond  Ass't Ens 


Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  301 

and  one  regiment  and  one  battalion  from  Alabama,  in  the 
assaulting  columns. 

The  contention  between  Pickett's  division  and  Heth's 
Division,  the  latter  commanded  then  by  PettigTew,  has  doubt- 
less arisen  from  the  following:  The  portion  of  the  enemy's 
forces  just  in  front  of  Pickett's  Division  was  behind  a  low 
rock  wall  which  terminated  at  a  point  opposite  Pick- 
ett's left.  About  eighty  yards  to  the  rear  of  this  point  there 
was  another  stone  wall  which  commenced  there  and 
ran  along  by  Benner  bam  towards  the  cemetery,  and  the 
enemy,  instead  of  continuing  his  line  to  his  right  from  the 
termination  of  the  first  wall,  and  through  the  field, 
dropped  eighty  yards  to  the  second  wall,  and  continued  his 
line  behind  that.  So  to  have  reached  the  enemy  in  Pettigrew's 
front,  his  troops  must  have,.marched  eighty  yards  beyond  a 
continuation  of  their  line  from  the  point  where  Pickett  reach- 
ed the  enemy  in  his  front.  Some  of  Pickett's  men  passed  over 
the  first  line  of  the  enemy  and  a  few  of  them  reached  a  point 
some  forty  yards  in  the  rear  of  the  line  and  near  the  Federal 

Some  of  the  Fifty-fifth  Korth  Carolina  Regiment  reached 
a  point  within  nine  yards  of  the  rock,  wall  in  front  of  them. 
That  was  seventy-three  yards  beyond  a  continuation  of  the 
line  of  the  first  wall,  and  allowing  two  yards  for  the  thickness 
of  the  first  wall,  and  adding  to  that  the  forty  yards  beyond  the 
rock  wall  to  the  point  reached  by  some  of  Pickett's  men,  and 
running  a  line  parallel  with  the  first  wall  so  as  to  strike  the 
most  advanced  point  reached  by  Pickett's  men,  and  continu- 
ing beyond  to  the  most  advanced  point  reached  by  the  men 
of  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment,  it  will  be  found  that  the  latter 
point  is  thirty-one  yards  in  advance  of  that  line. 

The  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  was  a  part  of  the  rear  guard  on 
the  retreat,  and  in  the  attack  made  upon  them  at  Falling 
Waters,  they  lost  several  killed  and  wounded.  The  loss  of 
the  regiment  at  Gettysburg  amounted  to  64  killed  and  172 
wounded,  including  the  few  casualties  at  Falling  Waters  and 
the  number  of  captured,  about  200,  added  to  these  made  an 
aggregate  of  more  than  one-half  the  number  of  men  in  the 
regiment.     All  of  the  field  officers  and  all  of  the  Captains 

302  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'(35. 

were  either  killed,  wounded  or  captured.  Lieutenant  M. 
C.  Stevens,  of  Company  G,  was  the  ranking  officer,  and  com- 
manded the  regiment  on  the  retreat  until  it  reached  Falling 
Waters,  when  Captain  Whitted  had  sufficiently  recovered 
from  his  wound  to  take  command.  Captain  R.  W.  Thomas, 
of  Company  K,  however,  returned  to  the  regiment  soon  after 
we  went  into  camp  on  the  Rapidan,  and  commanded  the  regi- 
ment with  great  acceptability  until  Lieutenant-Colonel  Belo's 
return  the  following  winter.  In  the  official  report  of  his 
division  at  Gettysburg,  made  by  General  Ileth,  and  found  in 
the  records  published  by  the  United  States  Government,  Col- 
onel Connally,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith  and  Major  Belo  are 
particularly  mentioned  for  gaUant  and  meritorious  conduct, 
but  Col.  Connally  was  so  severely  wounded  that  he  was  never 
able  again  to  command  the  regiment.  This  was  a  great  loss, 
for  he  was  not  only  brave  and  loyal  in  his  support  of  the 
Southern  cause,  but  his  sentiments  and  conduct  were  so  chiv- 
alric,  that  he  impressed  all  the  men  and  officers  of  the  regi- 
ment with  his  own  lofty  ideals,  and  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith 
was  dead.  The  very  soul  of  honor,  he  was  older  and  less 
impetuous  than  Colonel  Connally,  but  gentle  and  refined  as  a 
woman ;  he  was  conscientious  and  painstaking  in  the  dis- 
charge of  every  duty  and  enforced  among  the  men  the  same 
rigid  rule  of  attention  to  duty  he  prescribed  for  himself.  No 
hasty  utterance  and  no  unclean  word  ever  escaped  his  lips, 
and  by  his  daily  life,  he  taught  us  what  a  beautiful  thing  it 
is  to  be  a  Christian  gentleman. 

Colonel  Connally  was  left  in  a  house  near  the  battlefield 
and  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  His  left  arm  was  am- 
putated and  from  that  and  the  wound  in  his  hip  it  was 
thouglit  for  a  long  while  he  would  die.  His  brave  spirit 
pulled  him  through.  As  a  lawyer  and  in  politics  he  attained 
high  position  in  Galveston,  Texas,  and  Richmond,  Va.,  but 
after  several  years  he  became  an  eloquent  preacher  of  the 
Gospel  and  now  resides  at  Asheville,  N^.  C. 

The  regiment,  after  its  return  to  the  line  of  the  Rapidan, 
was  engaged  in  drilling  and  picketing  at  the  fords  until  Oc- 
tober, when  it  went  with  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia  to 
Manassas  and  became  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Bristoe  Sta- 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  303 

tion.  The  position  of  the  regiment  in  that  battle  was  on  the 
left  of  the  brigade,  which  was  just  to  the  right  of  Cooke's  Bri- 
gade. A  piece  of  forest  w^as  in  front  and  consequently  our 
loss  was  slight  as  compared  to  the  loss  of  some  of  the  regi- 
ments of  Cooke's  Brigade.  The  regiment  was  also  with  the 
army  at  Mine  Run,  and  was  a  part  of  a  line  that  was  formed 
for  the  charge  upon  the  enemy's  left  flank  in  the  early  morn- 
ing, when  it  was  discovered  after  throwing  out  a  skirmish 
line  that  General  Meade,  during  the  night,  had  withdrawn 
his  forces. 

Colonel  Belo  returned  to  the  command  of  the  regiment  late 
in  January,  1864,  but  he  had  not  entirely  recovered  from  his 
wound  received  at  Gettysburg.  It  was  made  on  the  leg  by 
the  fragment  of  a  shell,  and  in  his  determination  not  to  be 
captured,  he  fell  back  with  the  army  from  Gettysburg.  A 
portion  of  the  time  he  was  in  such  danger  of  capture  that  he 
exposed  himself  greatly,  and  by  the  lime  he  reached  Win- 
chester the  condition  of  the  wound  was  so  serious  that  for  sev- 
eral days  it  was  feared  that  amputation  would  be  necessary. 

Soon  after  his  return  to  the  regiment,  our  brigade,  one 
severely  cold  night,  was  ordered  out  of  camp  and  marched  to 
Gordonsville.  As  soon  as  it  reached  that  point,  the  Fifty- 
fifth  Regiment  was  sent  out  to  picket  the  roads  on  the  south. 
The  rain  was  falling  and  sleeting  and  the  clothing  on  the 
men  was  frozen.  The  next  day  the  regiment  with  the  brigade 
was  marched  some  distance  to  the  southwest  and  bivouacked 
for  the  night  with  orders  to  have  very  few  fires,  the  purpose 
being  to  intercept  a  raiding  detachment  of  the  Federal  army, 
but  the  detachment  went  around  us,  and  after  enduring  the 
intensest  suffering  that  night,  the  regiment  returned  to  camp. 

the  wilderness. 

On  4  May,  1864,  the  regiment.  Colonel  Belo,  now  recov- 
ered of  his  wounds,  commanding,  left  its  camp  near  Orange 
Court  House,  and  commenced  its  march  to  the  Wilderness. 
It  was  going  down  the  Plank  road  towards  Fredericksburg 
about  2  :30  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of  the  5th,  when  it  was 
discovered  that  the  enemy  were  advancing  up  the  road, 
Heth's  Division  was  formed  into  line  of  battle,  not  for  the 

304  North  Carolina  Troops,   1 801 -'05. 

pin*pose  of  ach^ancing  or  bringing  on  an  engagement,  hut  as 
General  Lee  said  to  A.  P.  Hill,  to  hold  tlie  enemy  in  check 
imtil  Longstreet's  Corps  and  Anderson's  Division  of  A.  P. 
Hill's  Corps  should  come  up.  Da\'is'  Brigade  was  formed  on 
the  left  of  the  road;  our  regiment  was  the  right  centre  of  the 
brigade  and  on  the  crest  of  a  small  hill  or  ridge.  It  was  in  a 
dense  forest  of  small  trees ;  the  hill  in  our  front  sloped  gradu- 
ally to  a  depression  or  valley  which  was  a  few  yards  wide,  and 
then  there  was  a  gradual  incline  on  the  opposite  side  until  it 
reached  a  point  of  about  the  same  altitude  as  that  occupied  by 
us,  about  100  yards  from  our  line.  We  had  340  men,  includ- 
ing non-commissioned  officers,  in  our  regiment.  About  3  :30 
o'clock,  our  skirmish  line  was  driven  in  and  the  first  line  of 
the  Federal  forces  charged,  but  they  got  no  further  than 
the  crest  of  the  hill  in  front  of  us,  and  were  repulsed  with 
great  loss ;  from  then  until  sunset,  they  charged  us  with  seven 
successive  lines  of  battle,  but  we  repulsed  every  one  of  them. 
Our  line  never  wavered.  The  officers  and  men  of  the  regi- 
ment realized  that  the  safety  of  the  army  depended  upon  our 
holding  the  enemy  in  check  until  the  forces  left  behind  could 
come  up,  and  there  was  a  fixed  determination  to  do  it,  or  to 
die.  About  6  o'clock  the  enemy  w^ere  pressing  us  so  heav- 
ily wath  their  successive  lines  of  fresh  troops  it  was  thought 
that  they  would  annihilate  us  before  nightfall,  and  a 
conference  of  the  general  officers  on  the  field  determined  that 
it  would  probably  become  necessary  as  a  last  resort,  to  make 
a  vigorous  and  impetuous  charge  upon  them  with  the  hope 
that  we  might  be  able  to  drive  them  back.  Colonel  Belo, 
who  was  sitting  just  in  the  rear  of  the  regiment  by  the  side  of 
a  little  poplar  tree,  sent  his  orderly  to  the  line  to  the  writer 
of  this  sketch  (C  M.  Cooke),  instructing  him  to  report  to  him 
immediately.  I  went  at  once.  He  then  stated  to  me  that 
the  necessity  of  a  charge  seemed  apparent  and  that  the  order 
for  making  it  would  probably  soon  be  given,  and  he  desired 
that  I  return  to  the  line  and  notify  the  men  that  they  might 
be  prepared  for  it,  and  take  the  command  of  my  own  com- 
pany and  also  C,  which  was  the  flag  company,  the  command- 
ing officer  of  which  had  a  few  moments  before  been  severely 
wounded,  and  to  see  that  the  flag  was  kept  well  to  the  front, 

1.    John  P.  Caiinady,  Serfreant,  Co.  K. 
a.     Win.  KIlis  Royster,  t'orporal,  Co.  K. 
3.     Hetn-y  C.  Ailcock.  Musician,  Co.  K. 
■1.     John  II.  Willianis,  I'nvate.  Co.  K. 

(Killed  n.-ar  I'.t.TsburK,  Oct.,  1864.) 
5.     Rhodes  Frazier,  I'livate,  Co.  K. 


Albert  Eaks.  Private,  Co.  K. 

John  H.  Dean.  Private,  Co.  K.     (Killed 

at  the  Wilderness.) 
James  C.    Kiiutt.   Co.    K.      (Killed   at 

(iettysburj;,  July  1-  18<;3.) 
James  W.  Adcock,  Private,  Co.  K. 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  305 

and  to  make  the  charge  with  all  the  dash  that  was  possible.  I 
went  back  to  the  line  and  gave  the  men  the  information.  They 
expressed  hope  that  it  might  not  be  necessary  to  make  the 
charge,  bnt  there  was  no  disposition  to  shirk  the  duty  if  it 
had  been  imposed.  Bnt  the  order  for  the  charge  was  not 
given,  and  about  sunset  the  firing  had  nearly  ceased  in  our 
front,  and  Thomas'  Georgia  Brigade  of  Wilcox's  Division 
came  in  and  relieved  us,  and  we  were  sent  to  the  right  of  the 
road  where  we  rested  for  the  night.  We  had  held  the  enemy 
in  check.  Not  one  yard  of  our  line  had  given  away  one  foot 
during  the  three  hours  the  fearful  onslaughts  had  been  made 
upon  us,  but  of  the  340  of  the  regiment,  34  lay  dead  on  the 
line  where  we  fought  and  167  were  wounded.  The  Sergeant 
of  the  ambulance  corps  counted  the  next  day  157  dead  Fed- 
eral soldiers  in  front  of  our  regiment. 

On  6  May^,  early  in  the  morning  before  sunrise,  the  Fed- 
eral forces  opened  the  battle  on  our  left  before  Davis'  Brigade 
was  in  line,  and  while  our  arms  were  yet  stacked,  and  forced 
the  troops  to  the  left  of  us,  and  our  brigade  along  with  them, 
back  upon  and  along  the  road.  These  were  fresh  troops  which 
Gen.  Grant  had  moved  into  position  during  the  night,  and 
they  were  attacking  the  troops  of  A.  P.  Hill's  Corps,  which 
had  been  fearfully  depleted  by  the  engagements  of  the  day  be- 
fore. But  just  at  this  time  Longstreet's  Corps  came  up  and 
Kershaw's  Division  relieved  our  division.  Our  regiment  was 
not  engaged  further  during  the  Wilderness  fight.  Our  bri- 
gade composed  part  of  the  rear  guard  of  the  army  on  its 
march  from  the  Wilderness  to  Spottsylvania,  and  consequent- 
ly, the  regiment  did  not  reach  Spottsylvania  until  9  May.  We 
had  some  skirmishes  along  the  march — nothing  serious.  On 
the  afternoon  of  10  May  our  regiment  was  part  of  the  force 
which  made  an  attack  upon  the  enemy's  right  near  Talley's 
mill.  We  charged  and  captured  a  piece  of  artillery  and  drove 
the  enemy  across  the  Mattapony.  The  regiment  upon  this  oc- 
casion behaved  with  great  gallantry,  charging  for  half  a  mile 
up  the  hillside  through  an  old  field.  Though  subjected  dur- 
ing this  charge  to  a  fire  from  both  artillery  and  small  arms, 
the  loss  was  not  very  great ;  we  were  charging  up  hill  and  the 


306  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

&te  of  the  eiienij  went  over  our  heads.  On  tliis  charge  three 
color  bearers  were  shot  down  in  succession  before  we  captured 
the  artillery.  The  regiment  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of 
the  12th  at  Spottsjlvania,  but  as  we  were  behind  temporary 
breastworks,  and  some  distance  to  the  right  from  the  point 
where  Grant  broke  the  Confederate  lines,  its  losses  on  that 
day  w'ere  comparatively  small. 


At  the  second  battle  of  Cold  Harbor  the  regiment  reached 
the  field  late  in  the  afternoon  of  2  June.  The  Federal  troops 
were  attempting  to  occupy  an  advanced  position  on  our  left 
for  the  battle  of  the  next  day.  Davis'  Brigade  was  put  in  to 
prevent  this,  and  charged  them  just  about  sunset.  We 
checked  the  advance  of  the  enemy,  but  it  was  a  fearful  charge. 
The  ground  was  unfavorable  on  account  of  a  thick  under- 
growth and  tlie  loss  "svas  considerable.  Colonel  Belo  was  seri- 
ously wounded  in  this  charge  and  w^as  never  able  aftenvards 
to  take  command  of  the  regiment.  We  were  engaged  in  the 
battle  all  the  next  day,  but  we  were  protected  by  temporary 
breastworks,  and  we  did  not  suffer  as  heavily  as  some  of  the 
regiments,  but  the  punishment  we  inflicted  upon  the  enemy 
was  fearful. 

Colonel  Belo's  wound  was  in  the  arm,  half  way  between  the 
elbow  and  shoulder  joint;  the  bone  was  shattered  and  the  op- 
eration of  re-section  was  performed.  The  loss  to  the  regi- 
ment was  irreparable.  He  had  been  with  the  regiment  in 
all  its  hard-fought  battles,  and  had  the  absolute  confidence  of 
every  man  in  the  regiment.  He  was  cool  and  intrepid.  He 
never  lost  his  head  in  the  midst  of  the  fiercest  conflict,  nor 
failed  to  discover  and  seize  the  advantage  of  a  position.  He 
had  a  genius  for  organization,  and  appreciated  every  detail 
that  contributed  to  the  effectiveness  or  character  of  a  military 
organization.  He  was  in  North  Carolina  at  the  time  of 
General  Lee's  surrender.  He  went  to  General  Beauregard 
and  was  assiV^ed  by  him  to  the  command  of  a  force.  He  was 
detached  f  ro^i  the  main  body  of  General  Johnston's  army,  and 
W'hen  the  latter  surrendered,  instead  of  surrendering  with  it, 
he  and  Captain  Lillington,  of  Company  H,  who  was  with  him 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  307 

at  the  time,  rode  off  to  join  the  army  of  General  Kirby  Smith, 
across  the  Mississippi.  But  before  he  reached  that  army  it 
had  surrendered  and  he  went  to  Galveston  and  made  that 
place  his  home.  He  became  the  editor  of  the  Galveston  News 
and  acquired  both  fame  and  wealth.  He  died  at  Asheville, 
N.  C,  a  few  months  ago  and  was  buried  at  Salem,  IST.  C,  his 
old  home. 

The  regiment  after  this  time  was  commanded  at  various 
times  by  Captain  P.  M.  Mull,  of  Company  F ;  Captain  R. 
W.  Thomas,  of  Company  K;  Captain  W.  A.  Whitted,  of 
Company  G ;  Captain  B.  F.  Briggs,  of  Company  A ;  Captain 
N.  W.  Lillington,  of  Company  H ;  and  Captain  John  T. 
Peden,  of  Company  B ;  but  Captain  Whitted  was  in  com- 
mand the  greater  part  of  the  time. 

The  regiment,  after  Cold  Harbor,  spent  about  a  month  on 
the  north  side  of  the  James  river,  near  Malvern  Hill,  and 
during  that  time  had  an  engagement  with  the  enemy  near 
White  Oak  Swamp,  in  which  the  Federals  were  repulsed,  and 
the  regiment  lost  several  men.  We  were  afterwards  trans- 
ferred to  the  lines  southeast  of  Petersburg,  and  the  point  oc- 
cupied by  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  was  to  the  right  of  the 
point  where  the  mine  was  sprung  on  30  July.  The  part  of 
the  line  occupied  by  our  regiment  was  so  near  to  that  of  the 
enemy  that  sharpshooting  was  kept  up  constantly  between  the 
lines  with  casualties  of  almost  daily  occurrence.  The  en- 
emy had  a  number  of  mortar  guns  planted  just  in  rear  of 
their  lines,  from  which  shells  were  discharged  almost  con- 
stantly night  and  day.  As  some  measure  of  protection,  the 
men  and  officers  of  the  regiment  dug  holes  in  the  side  of  the 
hill,  upon  which  the  line  of  our  regiment  was  formed.  The 
headquarters  of  the  regiment  was  a  hole  six  by  nine  feet 
square,  thus  made  in  the  side  of  the  hill  with  an  open- 
ing to  the  rear,  and  it  was  in  this  place  that  the  writer.  Ad- 
jutant of  the  regiment,  received  all  orders  from  superior  of- 
ficers, received  and  made  all  reports  and  all  regimental  or- 
ders, and  there  the  commanding  officer  and  himself  slept  at 


On  the  morning  of  29  July,  the  Federal  commander  made 

308  North  Carolina  Troops,    1861-'05. 

a  feint  by  advancing  a  part  of  his  forces  on  the  north  side  of 
James  river,  near  Malvern  Hill,  towards  Richmond.  This 
was  done  in  order  to  cover  his  real  purpose  of  springing  the 
mine  near  Petersburg,  and  to  weaken  opposition  at  that 
point  by  inducing  us  to  withdraw  our  troops  towards  Rich- 
mond. The  Fifty-fifth  Regiment,  with  its  brigade,  was  a 
part  of  the  forces  which  were  moved  rapidly  across  the  coun- 
try, crossing  the  James  river  near  Drewry's  Bluff,  to  check 
the  enemy's  advance.  We  reached  a  point  in  front  of  the 
enemy  not  far  from  Malveni  Hill,  on  the  niglit  of  the  29th, 
and  were  placed  in  line  to  reinforce  troops  already  there,  but 
the  enemy  made  no  attempt  to  advance  further.  At  a  very 
early  hour  the  next  morning,  we  were  awakened  by  the  rever- 
beration of  a  great  sound  which  seemed  to  have  been  produced 
a  long  way  off,  and  at  the  same  time  there  was  a  trembling  of 
the  earth,  such  as  that  caused  by  an  earthquake.  A  few  houra 
afterwards  a  courier  came  with  orders  directing  us  to  return 
at  once  to  the  lines  near  Petersburg.  We  commenced  tc 
march  immediately  and  beneath  a  scorching  sun ;  we  went  at 
almost  a  dciible-quick,  and  in  crossing  the  large,  shadeles& 
fields  in  the  low-lands  of  the  James  river,  a  number  of  men 
were  overcome  by  the  heat,  but  we  reached  Petersburg  on  the 
night  of  the  30th,  and  found  that  the  enemy  had  been  driven 
back  from  the  advanced  position  which  they  had  gained,  and 
for  a  while  occupied  after  the  springing  of  the  mine.  Early 
next  morning,  there  was  a  truce  for  several  hours  to  bury  the 
dead  between  the  lines,  and  our  line  was  formed  then  just  as 
it  was  before,  except  there  w^as  a  bend  around  the  excavation 
made  by  the  explosion  of  the  mine.  The  position  of  our  reg- 
iment was  some  yards  to  the  south  of  the  excavation.  The 
Fifteenth  regiment  of  Cooke's  Brigade  was  just  in  the  rear  of 
it.  The  springing  of  the  mine  was  a  complete  surprise  to 
us,  and  both  officers  and  men  were  for  several  weeks  thereaf- 
ter anxiously  expecting  a  repetition  of  the  act,  and  were  ner- 
vous over  it.  At  one  time  or  another,  every  member  of  the 
regiment  was  sure  that  he  heard  the  sound  of  the  sappers  and 
the  miners  digging  away  down  in  the  ground  beneath  him. 
There  was  scarcely  a  night  that  some  one  of  the  regiment 
would  not  come  out  of  his  hole  and  crawl  to  the  regimental 




1.  Geo.  W.  Ciirrin.  Private,  Co.  K. 

(Killed  at  (iettysl)iirfr.  July  1,  18t)3.) 

2.  James  K.  Wilkerson,  Private,  Co.  K. 

3.  Charles  Stovall,  Pi'ivate,  Co.  K. 

rKilleil  at  (iettyshiir^.) 

4.  Marion  11.  Hester,  Private,  Co.  K. 

5.  Thomas  H.  Danie',  Private,  Co.  K. 


Alexander  Adcock,  Private,  Co.  K. 

Robert   H.    Klli.xnn.    Private,   Co.   K. 
(Wounded   seven   times    at    Gettys- 
burg. July  1,  1S03.    Taken  prisoner 
and  died  at  Point  Lookout.) 

John  P.  F.llixon,  Private,  Co.  K. 

Benjamin  P.  Thorp,  Private,  Co.  K. 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  309 

headquarters  and  whisper  the  announcement  that  he  could 
plainly  hear  the  sound  of  the  digging  in  the  ground  way  be- 
low him.  The  suggestion  of  the  adjutant  or  commanding 
ofhcer  that  it  was  mere  imagination  would  never  avail,  and  so 
it  would  often  happen  that  a  good  part  of  the  night  was  spent 
by  those  officers  in  going  around  and  testing  the  accuracy  of 
these  reports ;  and  in  assuring  the  men  that  there  was  no  real 
sound,  but  only  that  of  imagination.  It  was  customary  to 
relieve  the  regiment  about  one  day  in  every  ten  from  the  ter- 
rible strain  of  this  service  in  the  trenches,  and  to  take  them  to 
some  point  in  the  rear  where  there  was  shade,  and  allow  them 
to  bathe  themselves  and  to  wash  their  clothing. 

DAVIs"    FAEM. 

The  18  August  was  one  of  those  days  off  with  Davis' 
Brigade.  About  one-third  of  the  men  had  been  detailed  that 
morning  and  sent  to  work  on  the  breastworks.  The  balance 
of  the  brigade  about  the  middle  of  the  afternoon,  were  rest- 
ing about  a  mile  in  the  rear  of  the  line,  when  we  were  or- 
dered to  move  rapidly  to  the  right  some  twO'  or  three  miles, 
to  meet  the  enemy,  who,  passing  around  the  extreme  right  of 
our  infantry  line,  had  crossed  the  Petersburg  &  Weldon  Rail- 
road at  Davis'  farm.  As  soon  as  we  came  in  sight  of  the  en- 
emy, we  were  formed  in  line  of  battle  and  ordered  to  charge. 
The  charge  was  made  with  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  in  the 
center  of  the  brigade.  The  charge  was  made  with  dash  and 
spirit,  at  double-quick,  for  half  a  mile,  and  through  a  corn 
field  a  greater  part  of  the  way,  under  a  fierce  fire  of  both  ar- 
tillery and  infantry.  After  passing  through  the  com  field, 
we  came  to  a  pine  forest  of  scattering  growth.  We  drove  the 
first  line  of  the  enemy  through  this,  and  then  came  to  a  for- 
est from  which  the  large  trees  had  been  mainly  cut,  and  whicn 
was  very  thick  with  small  growth  and  under-brush.  It  was 
so  dense  that  the  enemy,  who  were  only  about  75  or  100 
yards  from  us,  behind  some  temporary  breastworks,  could 
not  be  seen.  We  stopped  a  moment  and  reformed  our  line 
and  then  continued  the  charge,  but  in  the  difficulty  to  our  ad- 
vance presented  by  the  thick  undergrowth  and  the  brush  from 
the  large  trees  which  had  been  felled,  we  had  not  gone  more 

310  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

than  forty  yards  before  we  were  repulsed  with  great  loss.  It 
was  then  about  twilight,  and  the  volley  the  enemy  poured  into 
our  ranks  appeared  to  be  a  veritable  sheet  of  flame.  The 
losses  of  our  regiment  there  were  relatively  greater  than  in 
any  other  battle  in  which  it  participated.  There  was  scarcely 
an  officer  or  man  who  did  not  bear  either  in  his  body  or  cloth- 
ing the  marks  of  the  terrible  conflict.  Of  the  130  men  who 
went  into  the  charge,  at  least  one-half  were  either  killed  or 
wounded.  Lieutenant  J.  J.  Hoyle,  of  Company  F,  was 
killed  while  gallantly  loading  his  company ;  he  was  ever  a 
faithful  and  conscientious  officer ;  Lieutenant  W.  H.  Townes, 
of  Granville  county,  as  brave  an  officer  as  ever  drew  a 
sword,  commanding  Company  D,  was  mortally  wounded. 
Of  the  thirteen  men  of  Company  I  present,  three  were 
killed  and  all  the  others  were  wounded.  After  the  re- 
pulse, we  fell  back  some  fifty  yards  waiting  and  expecting 
that  the  enemy  would  advance,  but  this  he  failed  to  do,  and 
during  the  night  we  were  moved  further  to  the  rear.  Cap- 
tain Whitted  commanded  the  regiment  in  this  engagement. 
The  next  afternoon  the  men  detailed  the  day  before  having 
come  in,  our  regiment  had  nearly  as  many  men  in  ranks  as  it 
had  the  day  before,  and  Captain  B.  F.  Briggs,  of  Company 
A,  was  in  command.  Our  line  was  lengthened  by  fresh 
troops,  and  late  in  the  afternoon  another  attempt  was  made 
to  dislodge  the  enemy  from  his  position,  our  regiment  charg- 
ing over  the  same  ground  as  on  the  day  before,  and  it  was  re- 
pulsed at  just  about  the  same  point,  and  with  very  nearly  as 
great  losses.  We  returned  to  the  trenches  near  Petersburg 
and  there  remained  until  the  engagement  on  1  October  on  the 
right  of  our  line,  in  which  General  ITeth's  Division  was  en- 
gaged with  an  infantry  division  of  the  Federal  forces  and 
some  of  their  cavalry,  and  in  which  General  Archer  was  mor- 
tally wounded.  The  losses  of  the  Fifty-fifth  Kegiment  in 
this  engagement  were  slight.  In  the  battle  of  Hatcher's  Run 
or  Burgess'  Mill,  on  27  October,  the  right  of  our  brigade 
rested  on  Hatcher's  Run.  One  of  the  Mississippi  Regiments 
was  on  the  right,  and  our  regiment  was  in  the  centre.  About 
4  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the  enemy  had  broken  tlirough  our 
lines  on  the  south  side  of  Hatcher's  Run  and  the  first  we 

Fifty-Fifth  Regiment.  311 

knew  of  it  they  had  crossed  the  run  and  were  firing  into  our 
rear.  General  Heth  and  General  Davis,  who  were  just  in  the 
rear  of  our  regiment  at  the  time,  directed  Colonel  Stone,  of 
the  Second  Mississippi,  since  Governor  of  the  State  of  Missis- 
sippi, to  wheel  the  three  right  regiments  of  the  brigade  per- 
pendicular to  our  line,  and  to  drive  the  enemy  back  across  the 
run.  The  order  was  promptly  executed,  and  the  Fifty-fifth 
Regiment,  being  the  third  regiment  from  the  right,  was  next 
to  the  angle,  and  was  subjected,  therefore,  to  enfilading  fire 
from  the  main  army  of  the  enemy,  and  to  a  front  fire  from 
the  flanking  force.  The  charge  was  made  with  great  despera- 
tion and  the  enemy  were  driven  in  great  disorder  and  confu- 
sion across  the  run,  and  our  lines  on  the  south  side  were  re- 
established. The  losses  of  the  regiment  were  serious.  Lieu- 
tenant M.  C.  Stevens,  who,  up  to  this  time,  had  escaped  un- 
hurt, rashly  exposed  himself  in  this  exigency  and  was  killed. 


About  1  December,  1864,  when  the  enemy  with  considera- 
ble force  of  both  cavalry  and  infantry,  cut  the  Petersburg  & 
Weldon  Railroad,  near  Jaratt's  Station,  and  threatened  the 
base  of  our  supplies  at  Belfield,  our  regiment  was  a  part  of  the 
force  that  was  sent  to  attack  and  drive  him  back.  We  came 
upon  the  enemy  near  Jarratt's  station,  and  drove  in  his  skir- 
mish line.  We  formed  in  line  of  battle  and  charged  through 
a  piece  of  pine  forest  that  was  covered  with  sleet;  the  long 
icicles  hung  from  every  limb,  and  the  trees  were  so  weighted 
that  many  of  the  limbs  touched  the  gi'ound.  It  was  fearfully 
cold  and  the  men  suffered  terribly,  for  we  were  neither  well 
shod,  nor  warmly  clad.  A  few  shots  were  fired  into  our 
column  as  we  were  marching  through  the  forest,  but  when  we 
emerged  from  it  into  an  open  field  near  the  railroad,  the  ene- 
my had  fled.  This  movement  was  noted  for  the  great  suffer- 
ing of  the  men  on  account  of  the  severe  weather.  The  snow 
and  sleet  fell  upon  us  the  second  night  after  we  left  camp. 

On  6  February,  1865,  the  regiment  in  the  meantime  having 
been  transferred  to  Cooke's  Brigade,  participated  in  the  fight 
of  Cooke's,  Johnson's  and  Pegram's  Brigades  with  some 
of   the   Federal   forces,    in   the  battle   fought  between    the 

312  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

lines  north  of  Hatcher's  Run.  The  casualties  of  the  regi- 
iiunit  wvvQ  small.  On  24  March  the  regiment,  with  its  brig- 
ade was  moved  to  the  left  and  put  into  position  to  support 
General  Gordon's  attack  the  next  morning,  on  the  forts  and 
line  of  the  enemy  cast  of  Petersburg.  When  the  attacking 
forces  moved  over  the  intrenchments  for  the  charge,  we  moved 
into  their  places,  but  as  the  attack  was  a  failure  we  were  not 
put  in  action;  when  we  returned  to  our  former  position 
we  found  that  the  enemy  had  just  attacked  and  captured  the 
men  we  had  left  in  the  rifle  pits  in  the  morning.  They  made 
a  movement  as  if  they  were  going  to  charge  our  main  line, 
but  after  a  few  shots  from  us  they  changed  their  purpose. 

LINES  BROKEN.  .'  ; 

Wliou  the  general  attack  washiade  iipon  the  right  of  our 
line  on  31  March,  we  occupied  a  position  a  few  hundred  yards 
north  of  Hatcher's  Run.  In  the  battle-  that  day,  the  writer 
of  this  sketch  was  seriously  wounded.  '  Thb  regiment  was  en- 
gaged with  its  brigade  in  the  stubborn  resistance  that  was 
made  and  continued  until  the  morning  of  2  April  to  prevent 
the  enemy  from  turning  our  flank.  The  lines  around  Peters- 
burg being  broken  that  day,  the  glorious  remnant  of  the  un- 
con(]nered  Fifty-fifth  North  Carolina  Regiment  shared  in  the 
vicissitudes  of  the  heroic  and  historic  retreat  which  ended  in 
the  surrender  at  Appomattox.  The  handful  of  the  regiment 
on  9  April,  1865,  was  commanded  by  Captain  W.  A.  Whit- 

C.  M.  Cooke. 


9  April,  1901. 


[public  library. 

ASTOR,  A.£t*W(  ANO 


1.  Paul  F.  Faison.  Colonel.  4.    John  W.  (Iraham,  Major. 

2.  ♦G.  G.  Luke,  Lieut.-Colonel.  5.    E.  J.  Hale,  Adjutant. 

3.  H.  F.  Schenck,  Major.  I).    Moses  John  de  Rosset,  Surgeon. 

r.    James  M.  Clark,  Ensign. 


By  ROBERT  D.  GRAHAM,  Captain  Company  D. 

This  regiment  was  composed  of  ten  companies  which  assem- 
bled at  the  camp  of  instruction,  known  as  Oamp  Mangum, 
located  on  the  North  Carolina  railroad,  four  miles  west  of 
Raleigh,  in  the  Spring  and  Summer  of  1862. 

Company  A — Camden  Comity,  mainly — As  twelve 
months'  volunteers,  they  had  formed  a  part  of  the  detach- 
ment captured  at  Hatter  as  29  August,  1861,  and  had  recently 
been  exchanged.  Its  officers  were  successively  as  follows : 
G.  Gratiott  Luke,  Captain,  April,  1861,  elected  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  31  July,  1862 ;  Noah  H.  Hughes,  Captain,  1  August, 
1862,  from  First  Lieutenant  17  April,  1862,  died  1  Jime, 
1864;  Thomas  P.  Savilles,  Captain,  1  June,  1864,  from  Sec- 
ond Lieutenant,  17  April,  1862  ;  Henry  W.  Lane,  First  Lieu- 
tenant, 1  August,  1862,  transferred  from  Company  G,  killed 
12  June,  1864;  Edward  P.  Hanks,  First  Lieutenant,  12 
June,  1864,  from  Second  Lieutenant  17  April,  1862 ;  Caleb 
L.  Grandy,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  June,  1864;  Wm.  H.  Sey- 
mour, Second  Lieutenant,  12  June,  1864;  Caleb  P.  Walston, 
First  Sergeant,  became  Captain  in  the  Sixty-eighth  Regi- 

Company  B — Cumberland  County — This  company  came 
in  under  Frank  N.  Roberts.  A  good  portion  of  this  com- 
mand was  from  the  old  ante  helium  organization  known  as 
the  Lafayette  Light  Infantry,  and  with  their  present  Cap- 
tain had  formed  a  part  of  the  First  North  Carolina  Volun- 
teers known  as  tlie  "Bethel"  Regiment,  who  were  six  months' 
volunteers,  and  who  had  been  in  the  battle  of  Bethel  10  June, 
186L  Its  officers  in  succession  were:  Francis  iSI.  Roberts, 
Captain,  30  September,  1861  (who  had  been  a  Lieutenant  in 
the  Bethel  Regiment),  killed  18  June,  1864;  Alexander  R. 
Carver,  Captain,  18  June,  1864,  for  gallant  service  from  Sec- 

314  North  Carolina  Troops,   ] 861-65. 

ond  Lieutenant,  1  May,  1864,  served  in  Betliel  Regiment, 
was  retired  22  February,  1865,  being  disabled  by  wounds; 
William  T.  Taylor,  Captain,  22  February,  1865,  from  Ser- 
geant-Major, served  in  Bethel  Regiment ;  R.  W.  Thornton, 
First  Lieutenant,  April  1862,  captured  22  May,  1863;  Dan- 
iel M.  McDonald,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  April,  1862,  cap- 
tured at  Hatteras  29  August,  1861 ; Captain  White  being  then 
tenant,  1  April,  1862,  killed  20  April,  1864,  at  Plymouth; 
James  A.  King,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  July,  1864,  killed  21 
August,  1864,  at  the  Davis  House,  near  Petersburg. 

Company  C — Pasquotank  County — Alexander  P.  White, 
Captain,  April,  1862 ;  Matthew  W.  Fatherly,  First  Lieuten- 
ant, 26  March,  1862 ;  John  B.  Lyon,  Second  Lieutenant,  23 
April,  1862,  resigned,  and  appointed  Captain  in  the  Sixty- 
eighth  Regiment;  William  P,  Bray,  Second  Lieutenant,  23 
April,  1862 ;  Edward  S.  Badger,  Second  Lieutenant,  1 
March,  1864.  The  bulk  of  (!'ompany  C,  under  original  en- 
listments, had  been  among  the  earliest  volunteers  and  cap- 
tured at  Hatters  29  August,  1861 ;  Captain  White  being  then 
Lieutenant  in  the  Independent  Grays,  commanded  by  Cap- 
tain Thomas  Calioon. 

Company  D — Orange  County — This  company  w^as 
brought  in  by  John  W.  Graham,  who  had  entered  the  service 
as  Second  Lieutenant  20  April,  1861,  in  the  Orange  Guards, 
which  with  the  Guilford  Grays,  (both  of  them  ante  helium 
volunteer  companies,)  had  been  ordered  to  coast  defence  duty 
at  Fort  Macon.  In  June,  1861,  he  was  appointed  Aide-de- 
Camp  to  General  R.  C.  Gatlin,  commanding  the  Department 
of  Eastern  North  Carolina,  and  received  a  commission  as  First 
Lieutenant  in  the  Eighth  Regiment  North  Cai'olina  State 
Troops.  The  company  was  officered  as  follows:  John  W. 
Graham,  Captain,  April,  1862,  from  Aide-de-Camp,  pro- 
moted to  Major  1  September,  1863 ;  Robert  D.  Graham,  Cap- 
tain, 1  September,  1863,  from  First  Lieutenant  22  May, 
1863,  from  Second  Lieutenant  17  May,  1862,  from  private. 
David  S.  Ray,  First  Lieutenant,  17  May,  1862,  from  private, 
killed  22  May,  1863;  Joseph  B.  Coggin,  First  Lieutenant,  1 
September,  1863,  from  Sergeant,  wounded  17  June,  1864, 
and  died  therefrom  in  Petersburg  hospital   16   September, 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  315 

1864 ;  Robert  T.  Faucett,  First  Lieutenant,  by  promotion  and 
transfer  from  Second  Lieutenant  in  Company  H  18  Sep- 
tember, 1864,  from  First  Sergeant  of  Company  D ;  Charles 
R.  Wilson,  Second  Lieutenant,  17  May,  1862,  from  private; 
William  Turner,  Second  Lieutenant,  25  July,  1863,  from 

Company  E — Northampton  County,  mainly — Jos.  G. 
Lockhart,  Captain,  \pril  1862,  resigned  11  October,  1864; 
King  J.  Rhodes,  Captain,  11  October,  1864,  from  First  Lieu- 
tenant 4  May,  1863,  and  Second  Lieutenant  February,  1863 
(served  in  Bethel  Regiment)  ;  Jarvis  B.  Lutterloh,  First 
Lieutenant,  1  April,  1862,  killed  28  April,  1863  (had  served 
in  the  Bethel  Regiment)  ;  John  Jacobs,  First  Lieutenant,  11 
October,  1863,  from  Second  Lieutenant  4  May,  1863  ;  George 
B.  Barnes,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  April,  1862,  promoted  to 
Assistant  Quartermaster  1  August,  1862,  with  rank  of  Cap- 
tain; Wm.  S.  Moody,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  April,  1862,  re- 
signed 1  February,  1863 ;  Robert  B.  Peebles,  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, 5  August,  1862,  from  First  Sergeant,  promoted  and 
transferred  to  Adjutant  Thirty-fifth  North  Carolina  Regi- 
ment, later  A.  A.  G.  Ransom's  Brigade ;  Alex.  B.  McDougald, 
Second  Lieutenant,  9  June,  1863 ;  Cornelius  Spivey,  Second 
Lieutenant,  18  September,  1863,  killed  17  June,  18v64; 
Wm.  J.  Thomas,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  I^ovember,  1864. 

Company  F^ — Cleveland  County,  mainly — Henry  F. 
Schenk,  Captain,  April,  1862,  Major  31  July,  1862,  retired 
1  September,  1863 ;  Benjamin  F.  Grigg,  Captain,  5  August, 
1862  (Lincoln  county,)  from  Lieutenant  10  May,  1862,  (had 
been  First  Sergeant  in  the  Bethel  Regiment)  ;  V.  J.  Pal- 
mer, First  Lieutenant  10  May,  1862  (Rutherford  county)  ; 
John  R.  Williams,  Second  Lieutenant,  10  May,  1862,  killed 
at  Ware  Bottom  Church,  near  Drewry's  Bluff,  20  May, 
1864;  Alfred  R.  Grigg,  Second  Lieutenant,  10  August, 
1862 ;  A.  B.  Percy,  Second  Lieutenant,  20  May,  1864. 

Company  G — Henderso'iv  County — ^Henry  E.  Lane,  Cap- 
tain, April,  1862,  resigned  31  May,  1864;  Otis  P.  Mills,  Cap- 
tain 31  May,  1864,  from  First  Lieutenant  12  April,  1862; 
Benjamin  D.  Lane,  First  Lieutenant,  1  June,  1864,  from 
Second  Lieutenant  12  April,  1862 ;  James  M.  Davis,  Second 

316  North  Carolina  Trooi-s,   186 1 -'65. 

Lieutenant,  12  April,  1862  ;  Julius  A.  Corpcning,  Second 
Lieutenant,  1  October,  1864,  from  private;  Wm.  F.  Kinsey, 
Second  Lieutenant,  1  October,  1864. 

Company  H — Alexander,  Caswell,  Orange,  and  other 
Counties — T.  C.  Halljburton,  Captain,  April,  1862,  appoint- 
ed Assistant  Commissary  of  Subsistence  1  August,  1862 ; 
Wm.  G.  Graves,  Captain,  1  August,  1862,  from  Second  Lieu- 
tenant 22  April,  1862,  (had  served  in  the  Thirteenth  Regi- 
ment) ;  J.  D.  Patterson,  First  Lieutenant,  22  April,  1862, 
resigned  13  Febmary,  1863;  Samuel  R.  Holton,  First  Lieu- 
tenant, 13  February,  1863,  from  Second  Lieutenant  22  April 
1862,  (often  detailed  on  brigade  staff)  ;  Robert  T.  Faucett, 
Second  Lieutenant,  28  February,  1863,  from  Sergeant,  and 
transferred  with  fifteen  men  from  Company  D,  promoted  to 
First  Lieutenant  and  transferred  back  to  Company  D  18 
September,  1864;  Robert  W.  Belo,  Second  Lieutenant,  1 
March,  1863,  from  First  Sergeant  (lost  a  foot  at  Ware  Bot- 
tom Church  20  May,  1864)  ;  Solon  G.  Birkhead,  Second 
Lieutenant,  18  September,  1864,  from  First  Sergeant  in 
Company   D,   enlisted   from   Randolph   county. 

Company  I — -Rutherford  County — This  company  was 
composed  of  recruits  mainly  from  Rutherford  county  and  en- 
listed March,  1862,  by  First  Lieutenant  J.  W.  Kilpatrick 
and  Private  L.  Harrill,  both  then  of  Company  D,  Sixteenth 
North  Carolina  Troops,  sent  home  for  recruits.  They  se- 
cured 76  men  and  organized  7  April,  1862,  at  Fredericks- 
burg, Va.,  by  electing  J.  W.  Kilpatrick  Captain,  L.  Harrill 
First  Lieutenant,  J.  H.  Sweezy  Second  Lieutenant,  and  H. 
A..  L.  Sweezy  Third  Lieutenant.  Later  the  following  officers 
were  elected  to  fill  vacancies  and  promoted  as  follows :  At 
tlic  battle  of  Seven  Pines  Captain  J.  W.  Kilpatrick  was  killed 
and  L.  Harrill  promoted  to  Captain  31  March,  1862,  J.  H. 
Sweezy  to  First  Lieutenant,  H.  A.  L.  Sweezy  to  Second  Lieu- 
tenant, and  Joseph  jVi.  Walker  elected  Junior  Second  Lieu- 
tenant. During  the  Summer  of  1862  J.  H.  Sweezy,  First 
Lieutenant,  resigned  on  account  of  ill  health  and  soon  after 
wards  died.  This  caused  the  following  promotions:  H.  A. 
L.  Sweezy  t^)  First  Lieutenant  2  August,  1862,  J.  M.  Walker 
to  Second  Lieutenant,  and  Philip  H.  Gross  was  elected  Third 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  317 

Lieutenant  from  the  ranks.  At  the  battle  at  the  Davis  House 
on  the  Weldon  Railroad  21  August,  1864,  First  Lieutenant 
H.  A.  L.  Sweezj  was  killed,  and  the  following  promotions  fol- 
lowed :  J.  M.  Walker  to  First  Lieutenant,  P.  H.  Gross  to 
Second  Lieutenant,  and  Orderly  Sergeant  L.  M.  Lynch  to 
Third  Lieutenant.  During  the  month  of  February,  1865, 
in  the  siege  at  Petersburg,  Lieutenant  L.  M.  Lynch  was 
killed,  and  C.  P.  Tanner  was  elected  Third  Lieutenant.  This 
company  was  attached  to  the  Sixteenth  N^orth  Carolina  State 
Troops  and  made  the  thirteenth  company  in  that  Regiment. 
On  8  April,  commenced  the  long  march  to  Yorktown,  a  dis- 
tance of  130  miles,  and  arrived  on  the  19th.  On  2  May, 
1862,  Yorktown  was  evacuated,  and  at  Williamsburg  the  Six- 
teenth Regiment  was  held  as  a  reserve  to  support  the  line  of 
battle.  This  was  on  the  famous  retreat  of  General  Joseph  E. 
Johnston  up  the  Peninsula  between  the  James  and  York  riv- 
ers. At  Seven  Pines  31  May,1862,this  attached  company,  only 
in  service  about  two  months,  went  into  that  fearful  battle  and 
fought  like  veterans.  Captain  J.  W.  Kilpatrick,  Drummer 
J.  G.  Price,  W.  M.  Brooks,  A.  K.  Lynch  and  H.  R.  Sorrels 
were  killed,  and  seven  wounded.  Soon  after  this  battle  the 
company  was  ordered  to  Camp  Mangum,  Raleigh,  N.  C,  and 
was  made  Company  I,  Fifty-sixth  ITorth  Carolina  Troops. 

Total  commissioned  and  non-commissioned  officers  and 
men  of  Company  I  were  (first  and  last),  146;  killed  in  bat- 
tle and  died  from  wounds,  23 ;  wounded  and  sent  to  hospital, 
24;  died  from  diseases,  29;  discharged  for  disability,  5;  be- 
sides a  large  number  of  slight  wounds  not  reported. 

Company  K — MecMenburg,  Iredell,  etc. — Frank  R.  Al- 
exander, Captain,  April  1862,  mortally  wounded  in  night 
charge  of  17  June,  1864,  at  Petersburg,  and  died  20  June, 
1864  (Mecklenburg)  ;  John  F.  Mc^N'eely,  Captain,  20  June, 
1864,  from  First  Lieutenant  11  December,  1863,  and  Sec- 
ond Lieutenant  1  April,  1862  (Iredell)  ;  James  A.  Wilson, 
First  Lieutenant,  1  April,  1862,  resigned  11  December, 
1863  (Mecklenburg)  ;  James  W.  Shepherd,  First  Lieutenant, 
20  January,  1864,  from  Second  Lieutenant  1  April,  1862 
(Iredell)  ;  Charles  M.  Payne,  Second  Lieutenant,  20  De- 
cember, 1862,  from  Sergeant  (Davidson  county),  often  de- 

318  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

tailed  on  Regimental  Staff  as  Acting  Adjutant;  John  A.  Low- 
rance,  Second  Lieutenant,  1  July,  1864  (Mecklenburg). 

May  21,  1862,  Colonel  H.  B.  Watson  assumed  command  of 
the  Camp  of  Instruction,  with  Captain  Alfred  H.  Belo  as  Ad- 
jutant of  the  Post  and  Battalion  Drillmaster.  The  letter 
designation  above  given  for  each  company  showed  the  rela- 
tive rank  of  its  Captain ;  but  the  dates  of  their  commissions 
as  they  now  appear  in  Moore's  Roster,  are  not  thus  accurately 

July  31. — Organized  to-day  by  the  election  of  Field  Of- 
ficers, The  following  shows  the  result,  with  Staff  and  succes- 
sion as  far  as  preserved : 

Paul  F.  Faison,  Colonel.  Had  been  Major  Fourteentli 
North  Carolina  Regiment.  (Northampton.)  Class  of  1861 
at  West  Point. 

G.  Gratiot  Luke,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  from  Captain  of 
Company  A.      (Camden.) 

Henry  F.  Schenk,  Major,  from  Captain  Company  F, 
Retired  14  August,  1863.      (Cleveland.) 

John  W.  Graham,  Major,  1  September,  1863,  from  Cap- 
tain   Company   D.      (Orange.) 

Edward  J.  Hale,  Jr.,  Adjutant,  1  August,  1862 ;  promo- 
ted to  Assistant  Adjutant  General  of  Lane's  (N.  C.)  Brigade 
24  October,  1863.      (Cumberland.) 

John  W.  Faison,  x\djutant,  1  December,  1863.  (North- 
ampton. ) 

George  B.  Barnes,  Assistant  Quartermaster,  1  August, 
1862,  from  Lieutenant  Company  E.      (Northampton.) 

T.  C.  Hallyburton,  Assistant  Commissary,  1  August, 
1862,  from  Captain  Company  H. 

James  M.  Clark,  Color  Sergeant  1  August,  1862,  and  En- 
sign 12  September,  1864,  from  Sergeant  Company  D. 

C.  A.  Thomas,  Surgeon.      (Warrenton.) 

Charles  H.  Ladd,  Surgeon.      (South  Carolina.) 

Moses  John  DeRosset,  Surgeon.      (Wilmington.) 

Cader  G.  Cox,  Assistant  Surgeon.      (Onslow.) 

Wm.  T.  Taylor,  Sergeant-Major,  from  private  Company 

FiF^TY-SixTH  Regiment.  319 

B,  promoted  to  Captain  Company  B,  22  February,  1865. 

John  Mable^  Sergeant-Major,  21  April,  1863,  from  pri- 
vate Company  K.      (Mecklenburg.) 

Wm.  W.  Graves^  Quartermaster  Sergeant,  from  Com- 
pany A.      (Pasquotank.) 

Stephen  C.  Mullen^  Commissary  Sergeant,  from  Com- 
pany A.      (Onslow.) 

John  J.  Eleno^  Ordnance  Sergeant.      (Onslow.) 

Bailey  Brice^  Hospital  Steward,  from  Company  A. 

Wm.  Fenoni,  Dnim  Major,  (Italy),  1  August,  1862. 

Wm.  W.  Wallace,  Drum  Major.      (ISTorthampton.) 

1  August,  1862,  Colonel  Faison  assumed  command,  and  on 
the  8th  the  regiment  moved  to  Goldsboro. 

For  the  next  three  months  we  were  frequently  on  the 
inarch  and  counter-march  in  reconnoissances  between  Golds- 
boro, Warsaw,  Magnolia,  Beaver  Dam  Church,  Wilmington, 
the  seacoast  and  Tarboro.  Off  the  coast  we  saw  the  blockad- 
ing squadrons,  which  oiir  Advance  and  other  vessels  eluded 
on  frequent  trips. 

3  November,  marched  through  Tarboro  to  meet  our  forces 
retreating  from  Williamston,  and  all  went  into  camp  near 
Cross  Roads  Church.  The  Twenty-sixth  Regiment  was  sent 
out  on  reconnoissance. 

4  N^ovember,  Governor  Z.  B.  Vance,  who  had  been  elected 
Governor  from  the  position  of  Colonel  of  the  Twenty-sixth 
Regiment,  arrived  with  General  J.  G.  Martin,  Adjutant  Gen- 
eral of  North  Carolina.  Vance's  reception  by  his  old  com- 
mand was  something  unique.  As  the  enemy  were  not  in 
speaking  distance,  so  fine  a  disciplinarian  as  their  model  com- 
mander, Harry  Burgwyn,  had  to  waive  ceremony  for  the 
time  being.  The  sincerity  of  their  congratulations  was  at- 
tested by  utterly  ignoring  the  dignity  hedging  about  his  new 
position,  and  recalling  the  camp-fire  scenes  where  the  jovial 
spirit  by  his  wit  and  humor  had  always  found  a  silver  lining 
to  the  darkest  cloud,  and  led  them  to  look  upon  any  sacrifice 

320  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

that  might  be  offered  in  the  name  of  "the  good  Old  North 
State,"  as  a  privilege. 

CHECKING  fostp:r's  raid. 

5  November,  Martin's  command,  consisting  of  the  Seven- 
teenth, Twenty-sixth,  Forty-second,  Fifty-sixth  and  Sixty- 
first  North  Carolina  Regiments,  Walker's  squadron  of  cavalry 
and  two  or  three  batteries  of  artillery,  set  out  for  Hamilton. 
Within  six  miles  of  that  place  the  enemy  was  reported  be- 
tween us  and  Tarboro.  Countermarched  to  within  three 
miles  of  Cross  Roads  Church.  Just  at  niglitfall  Crawford's 
company  of  the  Forty-second  Regiment  encountered  the  en- 
emy's cavalry,  losing  none,  and  the  enemy,  according  to  pris- 
oners captured  on  the  6th,  suffering  a  loss  of  sixteen  killed 
and  wounded.  Six  of  their  dead  were  left  on  the  field.  Slept 
in  line  of  battle  expecting  a  general  attack  at  daybreak. 

6  November,  the  enemy  retreated,  and  we  pursued  through 
a  drenching  rain ;  bivouacked  in  six  miles  of  the  terminus  of 
the  railroad  from  Tarboro. 

7  November,  it  snowed  through  the  day  and  into  the  night ; 
Marched  to  the  railroad  terminus.  At  this  point  General 
Martin  organized  three  brigades  of  the  six  regiments,  the 
Forty-fourth  North  Carolina  Troops  luiving  joined  us  on 
the  5th ;  Colonel  Faison  commanding  a  brigade  composed  of 
the  Seventeenth,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Lamb,  and  the 
Fifty-sixth  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Luke.  The  Forty- 
seventh  North  Carolina  Regiment,  Colonel  Sion  IL  Rogers, 
came  in  on  the  9th. 

11  November,  Faison's  Brigade  reached  Hamilton.  It  is 
evident  now  that  the  campaign  is  ended,  and  the  enemy 
frightened  from  his  attempt  on  Tarboro,  has  returned  to 
Washington,  N.  C.  Their  raid  was  under  command  of  Gen- 
eral Foster,  late  a  superintendent  of  the  United  States  Mili- 
tary Academy  at  West  Point  while  Colonel  Faison  was  a 
Cadet  there.  The  utterly  wanton  destruction  of  household 
and  other  private  property  left  in  their  trail  has  not  inspired 
their  pursuers  with  any  respect  for  their  soldierly  qualities. 
It  is  estimated  that  they  have  carried  off  3,000  laborers 
(slaves)  from  Martin  and  adjoining  counties — a  more  legiti- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  321 

mate  prize,  as  without  such  wasting  of  the  sinews  of  war, 
the  struggle  may  be  prolonged  indefinitely. 


15  IN'oveniber,  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment  takes  up  line  of 
march  for  Franklin,  Va.,  and  crosses  the  Roanoke  at  Hill's 
Ferry,  a  mile  from  Palmyra.  16  j^ovember,  through  Bertie 
county  by  Woodville,  bivouacked  in  a  mile  of  Rockville,  mak- 
ing nineteen  miles.  17  November,  reached  Murfreesboro, 
about  twenty-two  miles.  18  ^NTovember,  marched  through  the 
town ;  reception  and  escort^  by  Colonel  Wheeler's  Cavalry. 
Reached  Monroe,  Va.,  a  ferry  on  the  N^ottoway  river,  eigh- 
teen miles.  19  November,  crossed  the  Xottoway,  passed 
through  Franklin,  six  miles  beyond,  and  went  into  camp. 
Line  of  defense  includes  this  point  with  old  South  Quay  and 
Cherry  Grove.  Heavy  intrenchments  thrown  up  along  this 
line, — a  week's  work.  General  Roger  A.  Pryor,  with  a  por- 
tion of  Pettigrew's  Brigade,  is  in  command  at  Franklin,  Gen- 
eral Pettigrew's  headquarters  being  at  Petersburg. 

8  December,  a  detachment  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  with  another 
from  the  Forty-second  jSTorth  Carolina  State  Troops,  have 
rebuilt  the  bridge  over  the  Blackwater  at  Joyner's  Store.  A 
gunboat  on  the  river  was  fired  into  bj'  a  portion  of  Company 
I,  under  Lieutenant  Sweezy.  9  December,  detachments  re- 
turned from  Joyner's  Store,  bivouacked  near  the  Fifty-sec- 
ond North  Carolina  Troops,  who  had  been  with  us  at  Wil- 
mington last  Summer.  10  December,  rejoined  the  regiment 
in  camp,  expecting  an  advance  of  the  enemy  by  morning. 
Lieutenant  Fatherly,  of  Company  C,  had  fired  into  a  patrol 
gunboat  at  the  junction  of  ISJ^ottoway  and  Blackwater  rivers. 
11  December,  Colonel  Faison,  with  six  companies,  reported  to 
General  Pryor  at  Franklin,  leaving  four  with  Colonel  Luke 
at  IsTew  South  Quay.  General  Pryor  made  a  foraging  expedi- 
tion across  the  river  through  Carrsville  and  Windsor,  return- 
ing on  the  28th  without  loss,  and  having  taken  one  prisoner. 

While  on  the  Blackwater  we  were  thrown  with  the  Elev- 
enth ]Srorth  Carolina  Troops,  now  under  Colonel  Collett  Lev- 
enthorpe,  who  had  been  a  Captain  in  the  British  army.  To 
this  regiment  the  Fifty-sixth  would  concede  the  palm  for 

322  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

superiority  in  the  manual  of  arms,  wliile  for  excellence  in 
tactics,  military  bearing  and  discipline,  it  yielded  to  none. 
Colonel  Faison  was  fresh  from  West  Point,  and  the  officers 
had  chosen  him  with  a  full  appreciation  of  the  importance  of 
these  essentials.  Of  our  service  along  the  Blackwater  the 
writer  heard  General  Pryor  say :  "Colonel  Faison  was  always 
on  time  with  his  regiment." 

The  regiment  was  also  fortunate  in  the  assignment  of  its 
Quartermaster,  Connuissary  and  Surgeons,  Captains  Bower 
and  TIallyhurton  being  efficient  men  of  affairs,  while  Drs. 
Thomas,  Ladd,  DePosset  and  Cox  stood  high  in  their  profes- 
sion. Dr.  DeRosset  had  taken  a  foreign  course,  and  was  an 
accomplished  French  and  German  scholar. 

EASTERN    north    CAROLINA. 

4  January,  1863,  oft"  with  Pettigrew's  Brigade  for  Rocky 
Mount,  N".  C,  reaching  that  point  about  dark.  17  January, 
on  to  Goldsboro,  and  camped  within  a  short  distance  of 
Cooke's  Brigade,  Daniel's  being  on  the  other  side  of  the  town. 

An  advance  of  the  enemy  is  anticipated  from  the  coast. 
20  January,  went  into  bivouac  near  Pettigi-ew's  Brigade, 
two  miles  east  of  Magnolia  Station.  21  January,  bivouacked 
near  the  academy  east  of  Kenansville,  and  reported  to  Gen- 
eral Robert  Ransom,  and  thus  became  a  part  of  that  brigade. 

22  February,  off  for  Wilmington,  and  at  Camp  Lamb  until 
24  February,  when  we  marched  out  to  Old  Topsail  Sound. 
9  M;irch,  General  Ransom  followed  with  the  Twenty-fifth, 
Thirty-fifth  and  Forty-ninth  Regiments. 

28  March,  Captain  John  W.  Graham,  Company  D,  de- 
tailed to  relieve  Adjutant  Hale  as  Judge  Advocate, 
since  early  in  January,  of  court-martial,  sitting  in  Wilming- 
ton. T^ieut.  R.  D.  Graham  has  been  acting  Adjutant  in  the 
absence  of  Ijieiitenant  Hale.  Brigade  remaining  here 
about  ten  days,  and  passing  through  Goldsboro,  where  a 
short  halt  was  made,  reached  Kinston  1  April. 

17  April,  marched  out  of  camp,  east  of  the  premises  of 
George  Washington,  and  proceeding  across  the  river,  ex- 
pected to  go  down  the  Dover  road  some  eighteen  miles  to  re- 
inforce the  Firty-ninth  North  Carolina,  which  had  engaged 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  323 

the  enemy  at  Sandy  Ridge.  Learning  of  their  withdrawal, 
bivouacked  on  the  south  side  of  the  river.  19  April,  march 
to  Wise's  Fork,  and  offer  battle ;  but  the  enemy  withdrew,  and 
we  returned  to  camp  at  Kinston. 

24  April,  the  Fifty-sixth  is  on  picket  duty  east  of  Wise's 
Fork,  below  Kinston.  Companies  H  and  K,  under  Captain 
F.  R.  Alexander,  hold  the  Neuse  river  road ;  E,  G  and  I,  un- 
der Captain  L.  Harrill,  the  Dover  road  at  Gum  Swamp,  while 
A,  B,  D  and  F,  under  Major  H.  F.  Schenk,  were  posted  on 
the  Upper  Trent  road  at  ISToble's  Farm.  Company  A  was 
held  in  reserve. 

first  gum  swamp. 

28  April,  the  enemy  driving  in  the  picket  line,  attack  Com- 
panies E,  G  and  I  about  3  p.  m.  Their  line  shows  four  flags, 
indicating  as  many  regiments,  say  1,600  men,  in  the  front 
line,  while  our  total  is  180  men,  with  earthworks  proving 
rather  a  death-trap  than  a  defence.  The  slight  elevation  of 
the  railroad  embankment,  four  or  five  feet,  as  it  emerges  east- 
ward from  the  swamp,  had  been  utilized  to  face  the  enemy  ad- 
vancing on  our  left  flank.  This  faced  north,  while  a  breast- 
work of  equal  length,  say  150  yards,  facing  east,  starting  at 
a  right  angle  from  this  improvised  line,  extended  around 
southward  and  then  westward  into  the  same  sw^amp. 

Thus  the  enemy,  advancing  to  the  crest  of  the  elevated 
ground  on  the  south,  overlooking  the  railroad  embankment, 
could  count  our  men  aligned  along  it.  In  this  unequal  con- 
test the  detachment  of  three  companies  under  Captain  Har- 
rill held  their  position  for  two  hours,  when  they  were  joined 
by  the  Colonel,  who,  after  continuing  the  fight  stubbornly  on 
this  and  the  second  line  occupied  on  the  west  side  of  the. 
swamp,  over  three  hours,  at  the  approach  of  night,  finding  the 
enemy  in  sufficient  numbers  to  surround  his  men,  withdrew 
them.  Citizens  in  their  rear  report  the  enemy's  loss  at  10 
killed  and  18  wounded.  Our  loss  was  one  officer  and  three 
men  killed.  This  officer  is  Lieutenant  Jarvis  B.  Lutterloh,  of 
Fayetteville,  commanding  Company  E.  His  genial  spirit 
and  gallant  behavior  had  made  him  a  favorite  throughout  the 
regiment.     The  men  killed  were  N.  T.  McNeill,  of  Harnett ; 

324  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

W.  M.  Vickers,  of  Orange,  and  Miles  Nelson,  of  Henderson 

A  courier  from  General  D.  11.  Hill  about  sundown  reached 
the  four  companies  at  the  upper  Trent  river  crossing  to  warn 
them  that  they  were  now  cut  off,  when  Major  Schenk  drew  in 
his  pickets,  and  avoiding  tlie  column  by  a  circuitous  march, 
had  all  at  Wise's  Forks  within  the  lines  about  sunrise.  This 
was  the  Major's  last  field  service.  He  had  long  fought 
against  failing  health,  but  was  now  completely  broken  down 
and  was  at  once  sent  to  the  hospital,  from  which  he  was  even- 
tually retired  by  the  board  of  examining  surgeons,  Avith  the 
respect  and  sympathy  of  his  many  friends. 

16  May,  Cooke's  North  Carolina  Brigade  has  come  to  Kin- 
ston  from  the  vicinity  of  Charleston.  17  May,  the  Fifty- 
sixth  relieves  a  regiment  of  Daniel's  North  Carolina  Brigade 
on  outpost  duty  at  Gum  Swamp,  which  is  eight  miles  below 
Kinston,  on  the  Dover  road.  The  line  of  defense  has  been 
improved  by  Colonel  Rutledge  with  his  Twenty-fifth  Regi- 
ment of  Ransom's  Brigade.  The  breastw^ork,  already  noted, 
extending  out  of  the  east  side  of  the  swamp  at  a  point  on  the 
south  (right),  and  continuing  around  to  the  north  to  the  fatal 
railroad  embankment,  (here  running  back  through  the  swamp 
at  a  right  angle,)  is  now  carried  across  it,  extending  the  arc 
of  the  circle  northwest  until  it  enters  the  sw^amp  again.  The 
railroad  embankment  thus  becomes  a  traverse,  while  others 
are  added  against  the  enfilade  from  the  east  and  soutli.  The 
country  road  from  New  Bern  to  Kinston  here  winding  like 
the  letter  S  crosses  the  railroad  three  times,  and  thus  with  it 
completes  a  dollar  mark  ($)  within  two  miles  behind  us.  A 
redoubt  with  one  gun  commands  the  first  crossing  immedi- 
ately in  our  rear. 

21  May.  Scouts  late  this  afternoon  report  an  advance  of 
the  enemy  from  New  Bern,  four  companies  of  cavalry  having 
crossed  Core  Creek. 


22  May.  While  the  regiment  is  in  line  of  battle,  seven 
companies  occupying  the  circular  earthworks,  with  the  other 
three  posted  at  gaps  in  the  swamp  occurring  on  the  right 

Ipobuc  umm^^^ 


1.     A..  P.  AVhite.  Captain,  Co.  C. 

a.     Matthew  W.  Fatherly,  Isl  Lt.,  Co.  C. 

3.  John  15.  Lyon,  !.M  Lieut.,  Co..  C.,  and 

Captain  in  f)8th  Kegiineiit, 

4.  Robert  D.  (irahaiii.  Captain,  Cd.  I). 

David  S.  Ray,  Lieut.,  Co  D. 
Robert  T.  Faueette,  1st  Lieut..  Co.  D. 
B.  F.  (iritjfj.  Captain.  Co.  F. 
Valentuie  J.  Fahner,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  F. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  325 

flank,  Company  I  occupying  the  extreme  point  a  mile  to  the 
south,  our  pickets  are  driven  in  at  daylight.  Lieutenant  Gra- 
ham soon  thereafter  calls  the  attention  of  the  Colonel  to  an 
order  plainly  heard  on  the  left,  "Throw  out  your  skirmish- 
ers," and  is  sent  out  with  six  men  to  reconnoiter.  Finds  the 
enemy  advancing  a  strong  line  of  skirmishers,  with  a  line  of 
battle  behind  them,  opens  the  battle  by  getting  the  first  fire, 
and  returns  to  report  their  position.  The  left  wing,  ready 
and  waiting  for  them  as  they  rush  forward  to  the  assault,  re- 
ceives tliem  with  a  steady  fire,  and  they  take  shelter  in  a 
screen  of  dense  woods  separated  from  us  by  an  open  space  of 
100  yards  in  width. 

The  fire  here  is  maintained  briskly  for  some  time,  and 
then  their  next  regiment  advances  against  the  right  wing  of 
our  seven  companies,  where  the  reception  is  equally  effective, 
again  silencing  their  fire.  These  demonstrations  after  a 
considerable  interval  are  renewed  with  the  same  result,  and 
the  third  time  all  is  silent. 

At  this  point  Colonel  Faison  expressed  to  the  writer  a  de- 
termination to  charge  them,  and  sent  him  around  their  right 
flank  with  twenty  men  to  locate  them.  It  was  soon  evident 
why  they  had  not  up  to  this  time,  about  10  :30  a.  m.,  used 
against  our  front  their  third  regiment  of  infantry  supporting 
the  first  two,  nor  the  three  pieces  of  artillery  held  under 
cover  near  the  Dover  road  and  supported  by  the  four  com- 
panies of  cavalry,  of  which  we  heard  the  evening  before,  con- 
stituting the  brigade  here  assembled.  Another  force,  whose 
strength  we  must  learn  by  feeling  it,  is  now  rapidly  closing 
in  on  the  Dover  road  directly  in  rear  of  our  right  flank. 
They  have  not  pierced  any  point  in  the  line  committed  to  the 
Fifty-sixth ;  but  however  there,  they  have  gained  the  rear  of 
the  redoubt,  and  can  soon  rake  the  road  through  the  swamp 
with  our  own  gun.  The  Colonel  is  amazed  that  there  is  no 
attack  upon  them  by  the  always  reliable  regiment  that  had 
been  posted  at  the  next  crossing  as  our  reserve.  They  soon 
develop  a  considerable  force,  taking  the  redoubt  in  the  rear, 
and  a  hasty  retreat  along  the  railroad  before  they  can  gain 
it,  now  offers  the  only  escape  from  capture  by  the  two  brig- 
ades between  which  the  battalion  is  being  wedged  in.    Colonel 

326  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861 -'65. 

Faison  accordingly  withdrew  it,  and  keeping  up  a  running 
fire,  saved  the  greater  portion  of  his  command  before  the  en- 
emy got  possession  of  the  railroad. 

The  enemy  had  rushed  in  between  Graham's  reconnoiter- 
ing  party  and  the  retiring  battalion,  but  by  a  circuitous  route 
through  the  swamp,  he  joined  the  rear  companies  as  they 
were  successfully  replying  to  an  attack  from  the  swamp  upon 
the  left  flank  of  the  column.  The  defence  was  here  vigor- 
ously maintained  for  some  time,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Luke 
shouting:  "Give  it  to  them  boys;  it  will  be  all  right  to-mor- 
row." But  the  left  flank  and  rear  of  our  new  line  of  battle 
are  now  open  to  the  advancing  brigade  that  we  have  fought 
throughout  the  morning  on  the  east  side  of  the  swamp,  while 
our  right  flank  and  its  rear  are  commanded  by  the  other  brig- 
ade, which  after  gaining  the  crossing  that  was  occupied  by  our 
reserve  regiment  when  the  battle  opened,  is  rushing  in  from 
that  point  on  the  west  to  join  the  line  coming  over  the  rail- 
road embankment  from  the  south,  and  thus  completing  the 
circle  around  us. 

The  battle  is  evidently  over,  and  we  must  save  as  numy 
men  as  we  can  through  the  swamp  in  our  rear  north  of  the 
railroad.  Plunging  into  the  dense  tall  growth  of  reeds,  we 
were  met  by  demands  to  surrender.  The  alternative  seemed 
to  be  capture  or  to  receive  a  volley  of  musketry  at  close  quar- 
ters. But  the  cover  of  the  reeds  was  complete  at  a  short  dis- 
tance. Taking  advantage  of  this  and  playing  men  as  pawns, 
the  writer  sent  the  smaller  number  between  himself  and  the 
enemy  directly  into  their  hands.  Without  waiting  to  see 
this  manoeuvre  completed,  he  faced  about  and  set  the  column 
in  motion  in  another  direction.  The  enemy  realized  only 
about  20  per  cent  of  the  prize  that  was  within  tlieir  grasp  at 
this  point;  for  150  men  were  thus  rescued  with  the  assistance 
of  Lieutenant  Charles  M.  Payne,  of  Company  K,  since  an 
able  Presbyterian  Doctor  of  Divinity,  recently  deceased. 

Adjutant  Hale,  who  liad  acted  witli  coolness  and  gallantry 
throughout  the  whole  engagement,  was  near  this  point  of  the 
rear  guard  and  brought  out  a  good  number. 

If  there  was  any  officer  of  the  regiment  who  failed  to  meas- 
ure up  to  liis  duty  in  either  of  the  two  battles  at  this  outpost, 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  327 

we  never  discovered  it.  A  court  of  inquiry  acquitted  the 
Colonel  commanding.  Of  this  result  none  of  his  comrades 
had  entertained  the  least  doubt. 

Major  E.  J.  Hale  has  recently  written  me:  "I  notice  that 
Professor  D.  H.  Hill,  in  'Confederate  Military  History,' 
Vol.  IV,  page  155,  says  that  the  Fifty-sixth  and  Twenty-fifth 
Regiments  were  surprised  at  Gum  Swamp  22  May,  1863. 
This  is  not  true  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  whatever  may  be  true  of 
any  others.  We  had  been  engaged  for  some  hours  at  inter- 
vals with  the  enemy  in  our  front,  which  we  had  completely 
protected  and  defended  by  repulsing  his  three  several  attacks. 
JSTo  part  of  the  line  defended  by  or  belonging  to  the  Fifty- 
sixth  was  punctured. 

"After  the  third  repulse  of  the  enemy  an  order  was  given 
to  withdraw  the  regiment  to  the  Kinston  side  of  Gum  Swamp, 
as  the  enemy  had  crossed  it  some  miles  south  of  us.  I  was 
shot  while  directing  this  movement,  but  paid  no  attention  to 
the  matter  until  next  day.  Shortly  after  we  had  gotten  most 
of  the  men  across  the  country  road,  I  remember  that  you  and 
I  were  chatting  beside  the  railroad  about  the  want  of  orders. 
We  saw  the  Twenty-fifth  in  line  a  few  hundred  yards  to  the 
rear  (west).  Word  was  started  to  them  that  with  a  change  of 
front  to  the  south,  we  would  join  them  in  attacking  this  new 
force  of  the  enemy  which  was  then  coming  up  from  that  direc- 
tion. But  suddenly  the  Twenty-fifth  was  marched  away  to- 
wards Kinston.  Our  support  being  thus  withdrawn,  we  then 
had  nothing  to  do  but  to  save  as  many  as  possible  from  cap- 

Captain  W.  G.  Graves  now  writes :  "I  have  never  felt  any 
scruples  about  this  fight,  as  no  blame  could  be  placed  upon  the 
men  or  regimental  officers." 

General  R.  Ransom,  just  returned  from  sick  leave,  barely 
escaped  capture  as  he  was  coming  to  the  outpost  and  had  only 
passed  to  the  front  of  the  reserve,  when  he  was  met  by  a  vol- 
ley from  the  enemy  at  that  instant  emerging  from  the  swamp 
to  attack  the  rear  of  the  redoubt  and  of  our  right  flank.  Two 
regiments  of  the  enemy  had  gained  this  position,  led  by  a 
native  guide  in  a  circuitous,  all  night  march  of  fourteen 
miles  in  single  file  through  a  marsh  that  they  found  well  nigh 

328  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

impassable.  Thev  thus  avoided  bv  several  miles  the  line 
committed  to  the  Fifty-sixth,  and  came  upon  the  field  from 
the  southwest. 

Colonel  Faison  was  just  then  quiet  for  the  want  of  some- 
thing to  shoot  at ;  and  was  ready  to  make  a  counter-charge  at 
the  most  favorable  point;  but  it  seems  that  his  silence  was 
mistaken  in  the  rear  for  a  surrender.  This  misunderstand- 
ing and  the  consequent  withdrawal  of  the  Twenty-fifth  at  the 
very  instant  when  it  should  have  charged  and  united  with  us 
to  crush  their  rear  attack,  was  the  mistake  of  the  day.  But 
from  such  mistakes  even  IS^apoleon  was  not  free. 

Major-General  D.  H.  Hill,  reaching  the  outpost  with  Ran- 
som's and  Cooke's  Brigades  about  5  p.  m.,  pushed  the  enemy 
back  within  his  fortifications  at  New  Bern,  a  shell  there  kill- 
ing Colonel  J.  R.  Jones,  of  the  Fifty-eighth  Pennsylvania, 
who  had  commanded  the  two  brigades  in  the  attack  on  the 
Fifty-sixth  North  Carolina.  The  brigade  in  our  front  was 
immediately  under  Colonel  Pierson,  of  one  of  the  four  Mas- 
sachusetts regiments,  while  Colonel  Jones  accompanied  the 
column  that  penetrated  the  swamp.  He  was  a  brave,  ener- 
getic officer,  and  doubtless  would  have  been  appointed  a  gen- 
eral for  this  affair  wliich  he  reported  that  afternoon  as  "par- 
tially successful."  He  therein  says  that  "the  enemy  was 
able  to  defend  himself  sometime  under  cover  of  a  swamp,  and 
when  finally  l>roken,  his  men  mostly  escaped,"  and  that  he 
"almost  took  General  Ransom  himself,  who  was  accidentally 
at  the  post." 

Our  loss  was  three  Lieutenants  and  146  men  captured, 
Lieutenant  D.  S.  Ray,  of  Company  D,  dying  of  his  wounds 
next  day  in  New  Bern.  He  was  a  gallant  and  meritorious 
officer,  who  had  the  confidence  and  affection  of  the  company, 
of  which  he  was  in  command.  Captain  John  W.  Graham 
being  on  detail  as  Judge  Advocate  of  the  court-martial  at 
Wilmington.  Lieutenant  Graham  was  promoted  to  First 
Lieutenant,  and  Sergeant  Wm.  Turner  to  Second  Lieutenant. 

Query:  How  did  it  liappen,  when  it  was  known  at  the 
outpost  on  the  afternoon  of  21  May,  and  presumably  at  head- 
quarters early  in  the  evening,  that  a  column  was  advancing 
from  New  Bern  on  the  same  road  by  which  the  four  regi- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  329 

ments  had  attacked  this  outpost  within  the  last  four  weeks, 
and  this  cohimn  was  morally  certain  to  reach  it  next  morning, 
that  an  effective  force  of  three  brigades  at  Kinston,  only  eight 
miles  distant  and  ample  to  give  the  enemy  a  complete  sur- 
prise by  striking  the  first  blow,  or  at  least  simultaneously  with 
their  assault  upon  our  single  regiment  and  possibly  cutting 
off  their  line  of  retreat,  if  strategically  disposed  during  the 
night,  did  not  start  towards  the  scene  of  action  until  the  next 
afternoon,  after  the  incident  was  closed  ?  No  explanation 
is  found  in  the  official  records  or  other  source  of  information. 

28  May.  The  brigade  is  off  for  Virginia  via  Goldsboro 
and  Weldon,  reaching  Petersburg  by  train  in  the  night.  29 
May,  on  to  Richmond,  and  bivouacked  at  Camp  Lee,  (State 
Fair  Grounds.) 

2  June.  Right-about  to  Petersburg  again,  and  next  day 
proceeded  to  Ivor,  on  the  Norfolk  &  Petersburg  Railroad. 

13  June.  Brigadier-General  R.  Ransom  has  been  promo- 
ted to  Major-General ;  Colonel  M.  W.  Ransom  to  Brigadier- 
General  to-day.  Back  in  Petersburg  and  march  over  to 
Drewry's  Bluff  on  the  James  river,  half  way  between  Peters- 
burg and  Richmond.  The  appearance  of  troops  in  perma- 
nent quarters,  on  garrison  duty,  is  here  a  novel  sight  to  our 
command,  so  constantly  in  motion. 

17  June.  Back  to  Petersburg,  and  21  June  to  Half-way 
Station,  towards  Richmond.  Occupied  former  cabins  of 
Daniel's  ISTorth  Carolina  Brigade. 

During  this  month  all  the  enlisted  men  captured  at  Gum 
Swamp,  have  been  exchanged  and  returned  to  duty. 

26  June.     Night  march  to  Seven  Pines. 

29  June.  Ransom's  Brigade  is  engaged  in  dismantling 
breastworks  constructed  here  by  the  enemy  under  McClellan 
a  year  ago.  Major-Generals  Arnold  Elzy,  Robert  Ransom, 
and  Daniel  H.  Hill  have  recently  been  successively  in  com- 
mand at  Richuiond.  Both  Ransom's  and  Cooke's  Brigades 
had  been  ordered  up  to  participate  in  the  counter-invasion 
to  the  north,  but  at  the  solicitation  of  these  post  commanders 
were  retained  for  protection  of  the  capital.  General  Lee's 
letter  on  the  subject  says :   "I  have  always  considered  Cooke's 

330  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

and  Ransom's  Brigades  as  part  of  the  Army  of  Northern  Vir- 


Ours  was  now  a  duty  of  obsei'vation  and  reconnoissance  to 
meet  any  demonstration  of  the  enemy  from  the  seacoast.  Thus 
an  opportunity  was  given  to  participate  in  one  of  the  most 
brilliant  campaigns  of  the  war — sharp,  quick  and  decisive. 
The  enemy  watching  our  capital  could  learn  approximately 
the  strength  of  the  small  force,  protecting  it.  Accordingly 
General  Dix  and  General  Keyes,  advancing  cautiously  by 
the  way  of  the  White  House,  apparently  had  a  Avalk-over. 

2  July.  General  D.  H.  Hill,  without  waiting  for  them  to 
approach  nearer  to  his  fortified  line  of  defence,  which  he  had 
not  enough  troops  to  adequately  man,  moved  out  rapidly  upon 
them  with  Ransom's  North  Carolina,  Cooke's  North  Caro- 
lina, and  Jenkins'  South  Carolina  Brigades,  Branch's  Vir- 
ginia Battery  of  Artillery  and  three  others,^ — -a  total  of  six- 
teen guns — and  a  squadron  of  cavalry.  He  met  them  at 
Crump's  farm,  near  Deep  Bottom  bridge,  between  sunset  and 
dark,  and  immediately  opened  such  a  vigorous  assault  that 
the  enemy  were  compelled  to  assume  the  defensive,  and  night 
found  them  in  full  retri^at,  doubtless  believing  that  those 
three  brigades  must  have  been  immensely  reinforced  since 
their  last  reports  had  come  in.  Ransom's  Brigade  sustained 
the  only  loss  on  our  side,  one  man  killed  and  two  wounded. 
Six  or  seven  prisoners  taken  admitted  a  loss  of  thirty  on 
their  side. 

11  July.  To  Petersburg  again,  and  camped  on  Dunn's 


28  July.  A  part  of  the  Forty-ninth  and  three  companies 
of  the  Twenty-fourth  North  Carolina  Regiment  and  a  bat- 
tery of  Georgia  Ai*tillery,  met  Spear's  Regiment  of  New 
York  Cavalry  and  Dodge's  Mounted  Riflemen  and  several 
pieces  of  artillery  at  Boone's  Mill,  ten  miles  south  of  Weldon 
and  two  miles  from  Jackson,  N.  C.  The  Fifty-sixtli  Regi- 
ment arrived  that  evening,  but  the  enemy  had  withdrawn. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  331 

Disposition  was  made  for  attack  that  night ;  but  they  did  not 
return.  The  Forty-ninth  lost  one  man  killed,  and  in  the 
Twenty-fourth  three  were  wounded.  The  enemy  buried  11 
of  their  dead  on  the  field. 

1  August.  Back  to  Garysburg,  and  camped  near  Mr. 

12  August.  To  Halifax  Court  House,  and  13th  took  boat 
for  Hamilton.  Down  the  Roanoke  seventy-three  miles,  ar- 
riving in  the  afternoon. 

14  August,  Company  D,  under  Lieutenant  Graham,  de- 
tached to  Poplar  Point,  and  threw  up  breastworks  covering 
the  river  landing. 

16  August.  Returned  through  Palmyra  and  Halifax  to 

1  September.  Captain  John  W.  Graham,  on  retirement 
of  Major  Schenk,  is  promoted  to  Major,  Lieutenant  Robert 
D.  Graham  to  Captain,  and  Sergeant  Joseph  B.  Coggin  to 
First  Lieutenant.  For  the  succeeding  four  months,  eight 
companies  of  this  regiment  and  the  Twenty-first  North  Car- 
olina Regiment  were  posted  in  the  West  tO'  meet  any  in- 
cursions from  East  Tennessee,  and  to  break  up  the  refuge 
found  there  by  deserters  and  lawless  characters  from  the 
several  States,  and  to  see  that  the  conscript  act  was  fairly  en- 
forced. The  effort  was  to  gain  friends,  and  make  no  new 
enemies  for  the  State  in  her  desperate  struggle,  and  thus  keep 
the  people  united  in  domestic  tranquility.  The  moral  effect 
of  this  movement  was  salutary,  Avhether  now  viewed  from  a 
Confederate  or  Federal  standpoint,  and  it  is  beyond  doubt 
that  it  was  so  regarded  by  General  Grant  when  the  war  was 
over,  and  the  proscription  naturally  following  it  was  at  fever 

Two  companies,  H  and  E,  under  Captain  W.  G.  Graves, 
were  protecting  the  building  of  the  Confederate  ram  Albe- 
marle on  the  Roanoke  near  Halifax,  at  Edwards'  Ferry. 

24  Octx)ber.  Adjutant  E.  J.  Hale,  Jr.,  is  promoted  to 
Assistant  Adjutant-General  and  assigned  to  Lane's  Brigade. 
As  his  modesty  naturally  forbade  the  incorporation  of  his 
military  record  in  his  history  of  the  Bethel  Regiment,  and  as 
he  contributed  so  largely  to  the  efiiciency  of  the  Fifty-sixth, 

332  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

it  will  be  a  pleasure  to  every  survivor  of  the  latter  to  have  an 
outline  of  so  brilliant  a  career  here  preserved  for  the  honor 
of  the  State  that  we  all  love  so  well. 

Private  in  Bethel  Eegiment  17  April  to  13  November, 
1861 ;  Second  Lieutenant  2  December,  1861,  and  Adjutant 
Fifty-sixth  Eegiment  1  Augiist,  1862,  to  24  October,  1863 ; 
Judge  Advocate  Court-martial  at  Wilmington  January  to 
March,  1863. 

Designated  by  General  Lee  to  convey  to  General  Grant  as- 
sent and  pei-mit  to  remove  his  dead  and  wounded  lost  at  Cold 
Harbor  2  June,  1864,  Grant  reluctantly  thus  acknowledging 
a  defeat. 

Assigned  as  Assistant  Adjutant-General  to  Taliaferro's 
Division,  Army  Northern  Virginia,  but  reassigned  to  Lane's 
Brigade  on  petition  of  its  officers,  in  consequence  of  General 
Lane  being  absent,  wounded. 

For  ''conspicuous  gallantry  and  merit"  recommended  by 
Generals  Lane,  Wilcox  and  A.  P.  Hill  for  Colonel  of  the 
Twenty-eighth  Regiment  on  request  of  all  its  officers  then 
present,  26  September,  1864;  but  the  act  of  Congress  was 
found  to  provide  only  for  the  regular  line  officers. 

In  March,  1865,  he  was  commissioned  Major  and  Assist- 
ant Adjutant-General ;  wounded  at  Second  Gum  Swamp  and 
at  the  Wilderness,  and  was  in  the  surrender  at  Appomattox. 
At  the  crisis  in  the  battle  of  Fuzzell's  Mills,  16  August,  1864, 
(commanding  the  Darbytown  road  in  front  of  Richmond), 
Lane's  Brigade  was  put  in  under  the  eye  of  General  Lee  to 
recapture  the  lost  line.  Colonel  Barber  commanding,  was 
wounded  and  the  charge  arrested,  but  the  Adjutant-General 
assumed  command  and  pushed  forward  to  a  speedy  victory. 
In  the  presence  of  the  troops  he  was  thanked  by  the  chief 
engineer,  General  Stevens.  For  the  latter's  consideration  he 
then  recommended  that  the  line  of  defense  be  here  so  changed 
as  to  give  full  effect  to  the  modem  long-range  small  arms, 
commanding  approaches  over  wide  plains,  therefore  to  be  pre- 
ferred instead  of  precipices.  This  was  then  a  new  departure 
in  fortifications,  but  was  promptly  adopted  and  superintend- 
ence of  the  work  given  to  Captain  Hale,  so  that  when  the  next 
morning  dawned  the  enemy  found  four  miles  of  such  de- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  333 

fences  awaiting  their  assault,  and  withdrew.  It  was  effect- 
nallj  adopted  by  the  Turks  at  Ple^^la,  while  much  later  the 
British  lost  Majuba  Hill  by  adhering  to  the  antiquated  sys- 
tem. ' 

In  the  N'orth  Carolina  victory  at  Eeams  Station,  25  Au- 
gust, 1864,  he  had  a  similar  experience.  General  Conner 
was  disabled  and  Colonel  Speer  killed  just  as  Lane's  Brig- 
ade started  forward.  He  assumed  command,  and  they  were 
among  the  first  over  the  line. 

Losing  only  by  a  legal  technicality  the  promotion  to  Colo- 
nel in  the  line,  as  above  mentioned,  the  extraordinary  com- 
mission of  Major  and  Assistant  Adjutant-General  of  Brigade 
was  given  him  as  some  measure  of  compensation.  He  was 
succeeded  as  Adjutant  by  John  W.  Faison. 


In  January,  1864,  an  expedition  was  organized  for  the  re- 
capture of  ISTew  Bern,  under  Major-General  George  E. 

28  January.  Reached  Goldsboro,  and  on  the  night  of  the 
80th  proceeded  to  Kinston,  where  the  Fifty-sixth  reported  to 
General  Corse,  commanding  a  Virginia  Brigade.  At  night 
General  Barton,  commanding  his  own  brigade  and  the  other 
four  Regiments  under  General  Ransom,  marched  out  on  the 
I^Teuse  River  road  for  'New  Bern. 

31  January.  Column  consisting  of  Hoke's  Xorth  Caro- 
lina, Clingman's  J^orth  Carolina,  and  Corse's  Virginia  Brig- 
ade (temporarily  including  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Caro- 
lina), took  the  Dover  road,  passed  through  Gum  Swamp, 
whence  we  marched  down  the  railroad  track  some  six  miles, 
turning  into  the  country  road  again  at  Sandy  Ridge,  the 
scene  of  a  fight  between  the  Forty-ninth  North  Carolina  and 
the  enemy  last  year,  and  went  into  bivouac  about  eight  miles 
beyond,  making  twenty-three  miles  that  day.  Skirmishers 
out  that  night  from  Corse's  Brigade  under  Major  Graham, 
of   the   Fifty-sixth    North    Carolina. 

1  February.  Set  out  at  2  a.  m.  and  captured  the  outpost 
at  Bachelor's  Creek.  Here  Colonel  Shaw,  Eighth  North 
Carolina  State  Troops,  was  killed  at  the  opening  of  the  en- 

334  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

gagenient.  A  portion  of  Hoke's  men,  with  Companies  B  and 
I,  of  the  Fiftj-sixth,  were  actively  engaged.  Our  total  loss 
was  eight  killed  and  fifty  wounded.  We  captured  250  pris- 
oners with  the  block  house.  The  railroad  crosses  the  creek 
at  this  point,  and  the  Fifty-sixth  made  a  race  to  strike  the 
track  in  the  rear  of  the  train  carrying  the  residue  of  the  en- 
emy to  New  Bern.  They  escaped.  The  fort  was  destroyed 
and  a  large  quantity  of  Quartermaster  and  Commissary 
stores  secured. 

Our  part  being  thus  accomplished,  we  listened  in  vain  for 
Barton's  guns  as  a  signal  for  our  further  advance.  At  night 
Captain  R.  D.  Graham,  with  100  men  from  Companies  D 
and  K,  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  with  two  pieces  of  artillery,  was 
posted  by  General  Corse  on  the  Washington  road  as  a  force  of 
observation  against  a  garrison  cut  off  in  the  fort  at  the  cross- 
ing of  Bachelor's  Creek.  At  daylight  Colonel  Chew  came 
out  with  the  Twenty-ninth  and  Thirtieth  Virginia  Regi- 
ments and  with  Graham's  detachment  moved  upon  tl"i(!  gar- 
rison. The  Thirtieth  and  the  artillery  was  moved  around  to 
the  right  of  the  road,  while  the  rest  of  the  force  took  position 
on  the  left.  A  demand  was  then  made  for  surrender;  and 
the  enemy  finding  himself  within  point-blank  range  of  the 
artillery  in  his  rear,  to  which  he  could  not  reply,  without 
bringing  his  own  outside  the  fort,  capitulated.  Our  spoils 
were  a  section  of  artillery  with  caisson,  and  100  stand  of 
small  arms,  with  a  supply  of  ammunition.  The  prisoners, 
120  men  and  four  officers.  Captain  Cowdy  commanding. 
Meanwhile  the  enemy  had  advanced  from  New  Bern  upon 
Hoke,  and  been  repulsed. 

General  Martin,  on  the  Wilmington  road,  had  carried 
everything  before  him  up  to  the  reserve  works.  Every  as- 
sault had  been  successful,  and  General  Barton  could  read- 
ily have  found  men  to  take  the  task  assigned  him.  But  as  he 
reported  it  impracticable,  the  whole  expedition  was  finally 
abandoned,  when  it  seemed  the  general  opinion  that  a  deter- 
mined assault  would  have  been  crowned  with  success. 

I  leave  the  above  recital,  as  most  of  this  sketch,  just  as 
written  during  the  war.  On  consulting  U.  S.  Official  Rec- 
ords, I  now  find  that  I  have  expressed  the  opinion  of  both 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  335 

General  Hoke  and  General  Pickett.  But  it  therein  also 
appears  that  General  Barton  in  his  official  report,  says  that 
before  abandoning  his  attempt  to  cross  Brice's  Creek,  he 
made,  together  Avith  the  two  brigade  commanders  mider  him, 
a  personal  reconnoissance.  He  requested  a  court  of  inquiry, 
and  this  request  was  recommended  accordingly  to  Adjutant- 
General  Cooper  by  General  Lee. 

5  February.  Rejoined  our  own  brigade  under  General  M. 
W.  Ransom  at  Kinston,  and  7  February  reached  Weldon  on 
train  via  Goldsboro. 

8  February.  Ordered  to  Richmond,  but  countermanded 
just  as  the  train  is  about  to  pull  out.  In  camp  again  near 
the  Moody  house.  Daily  exercises  in  company  and  battal- 
ion drill,  each  Captain  successively  acting  as  regimental  com- 


26  February.  Off  for  Franklin,  Va.,  on  the  Blackwater, 
crossed  at  Old  South  Quay,  and  marched  to  South  Mills,  Cam- 
den county,  IST.  C.  From  this  point  commissary  stores  are 
gathered  ;  and  a  detachment  of  the  enemy  appearing,  is  chased 
down  the  Dismal  Swamp  canal  by  Colonel  Dearing  with  his 
battalion  of  cavalry  to  within  twelve  miles  of  N'orfolk.  Cap- 
tured a  First  Lieutenant,  Surgeon  and  half  a  dozen  privates. 
The  object  accomplished,  the  wagon  trains  under  our  pro- 
tection having  been  loaded  and  started  back,  the  return  com- 
mences on  the  night  of  4  March,  and  at  the  tw^o  creeks  first  to 
be  crossed,  Graham's  company  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  as  rear 
guard,  had  prepared  bright  fires  that  there  should  be  no  delay 
in  crossing.  The  enemy  were  reported  to  have  ascended  the 
Chowan  river,  and  were  expected  to  pay  us  some  attention 
before  we  were  back  across  the  Blackwater  with  our  long  train 
of  wagons  loaded  with  provisions.  Halted  at  Sandy  Cross, 
twenty  miles  from  South  Mills,  for  two  days.  !N^o  appear- 
ance of  the  enemy. 


7  March.  Proceeded  to  within  eight  miles  of  Old  South 
Quay  and  learned  that  the  enemy  had  again  occupied  Suffolk. 

9  March.     Passed  through  Somerton  at  10  a.  m.,  and  at  a 

336  North  CakolixNa  Troops,   1861-65. 

church  within  three  miles  of  Suffolk,  routed  a  cavalry  out- 
post and  pressed  on  to  the  railroad.  Here  the  enemy's  cav- 
alry formed  to  charge  the  Twenty-fourth  Regiment;  but  a 
few  well-directed  shots  put  them  to  fliglit.  Captain  Cicero 
Durham,  promoted  to  Assistant  Quartermaster  for  gallantry 
in  the  line  and  known  as  the  Fighting  Quartermaster  of  the 
Forty-ninth,  gathered  a  squad  of  a  dozen  mounted  men  among 
the  teamsters,  and  charged  them  in  turn.  Seeing  the  paucity 
of  his  numbers,  they  made  a  stand,  but  were  attacked  with 
such  vigor  that  they  resumed  their  flight  before  the  infantry 
could  get  within  range.  The  Fifty-sixth  was  second  in  the 
column,  led  by  Lieutenant-Colonel  Luke,  and  complimented 
on  the  good  order  sustained  on  a  double-quick  pursuit  of 
three  miles.  The  only  escape  for  the  cavalry  was  by  com- 
pleting a  semi-circle  outside  the  earthworks,  defending  the 
town,  before  we  could  run  through  on  the  street  and  road 
forming  the  chord  to  the  arc.  With  their  spurs  and  the  aid 
of  the  shells  from  our  artillery,  they  beat  the  race. 

We  had  no  cavalry  and  did  not  lose  a  man,  but  General 
Butler,  like  Job's  war  horse,  "smelleth  the  battle  afar  off," 
and  pens  to  the  Secretary  of  War  the  following  bulletin  as  it 
appears  in  Official  War  Records: 

Fort  Monroe,  12  March,  1864. 
No.  1. 

Cole's  Cavalry,  Second  United  States,  had  a  skirmish  the 
day  before  yesterday  with  the  enemy  near  Suffolk,  Va. 
While  making  a  rcconnoissance,  they  came  upon  Ransom's 
Brigade,  consisting  of  four  regiments  of  infantry,  four  pieces 
of  artillery  and  300  cavalry.  The  enemy  made  a  charge 
upon  two  squadrons  of  Cole's,  and  were  handsomely  repulsed 
with  a  loss  of  about  sixty. 

The  charge  brought  the  colored  soldiers  into  a  hand-to- 
hand  fight  with  the  rebels,  and  the  enthusiastic  testimony  of 
their  officers  is  that  that  they  behaved  with  the  utmost  cour- 
age, coolness  and  daring.  I  am  perfectly  satisfied  with  my 
negro  cavalry. 

Bexj.   F.  Butler, 


Hon.  E.  M.  Stanton. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  337 

We  pursued  them  to  Bernard's  Mills,  capturing  the  camp 
of  the  white  troops  and  returned  with  one  piece  of  artillery 
and  considerable  stores. 

Three  negro  soldiers  took  refuge  in  a  house  in  town  and 
refusing  to  surrender,  j)erished  in  its  flames.  Another,  rush- 
ing out  with  his  gun  and  fighting  to  the  last,  was  shot. 

11  March,  rieturned  to  Franklin  via^  Carrsville.  12 
Marcli,  off  by  rail  to  Weldon,  and  in  camp  near  Mr.  Moody's 
at  Grarysburg,  and  17  March,  muster  and  inspection  for  Jan- 
uary and  February,  1864,  by  Colonel  Paul  F.  Faison. 


14  April.  The  Twenty-fourth,  Twenty-fifth  and  Fifty- 
sixth  ]^orth  Carolina  State  Troops,  under  General  M.  W. 
Ransom,  set  out  by  rail  and  reported  to  Brigadier-General 
R.  F.  Hoke  at  Tarboro.  The  Forty-ninth  was  on  outpost 
duty  near  Edenton,  and  its  place  was  now  supplied  by  the 
Eighth,  from  Clingman's  Brigade. 

15  April.  The  column,  consisting  of  Hoke's  JSTorth  Caro- 
lina Brigade  under  Colonel  Mercer,  of  the  Twenty-first  Geor- 
gia Regiment,  which  was  then  with  it ;  Kemper's  Virginia, 
under  Colonel  Terry,  and  Ransom's  ISJ'orth  Carolina  Brigade 
with  Pegram's  Battery,  under  General  Ransom,  and  Strib- 
blings',  Graham's  Virginia,  Miller's,  Moseley's  and  Reade's 
batteries  of  artillery  belonging  to  Colonel  Dearing's  command, 
and  Dearing's  Battalion  of  cavalry,  took  up  the  line  of  march 
against  Plymouth.  At  Hamilton  we  were  joined  by  the 
Thirty-fifth  i^orth  Carolina.  Passing  through  Williamston 
and  Jamesville,  we  reached  the  vicinity  Sunday,  the  l7th,  a 
little  before  nightfall. 

Immediately  a  strong  line  of  skirmishers,  including  Com- 
pany I,  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  was  thrown  out  from  Ransom's 
Brigade,  under  Major  Graham,  and  pushed  forward  nearly 
to  the  entrenchments.  A  picket  post  of  eleven  men  was  sur- 
prised, nine  captured,  one  killed  and  one  escaped.  A  recon- 
noissance  in  force  was  made  in  front  of  Fort  Gray,  on  War- 
ren's I^eck,  between  the  mouths  of  two  creeks  emptying  into 
the  Roanoke,  two  miles  west  of  Plymouth,  and  Dearing's  ar- 

338  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

tillery  crippled  one  of  the  boats  so  that  it  sank  on  reaching 
the  wharf.  A  redoubt  Avas  innnediately  ])egun  on  the  James- 
ville  road  leading  south  for  our  3'2 -pound  Parrott  gun.  The 
iron-clad  Albemarle,  Captain  J.  W.  Cooke,  was  expected 
during  the  night.  Fort  Gray's  armament  was  one  100- 
pounder  and  two  32-pounders 

18  April.  The  Albemarle,  for  some  reason,  was  making 
slow  progress  down  the  Koanoke,  and  the  day  passed  without 
a  sign  of  it.  Shelling  at  inter\'als  was  kept  up,  the  Fifty- 
sixth  suffering  but  one  casualty,  the  wounding  of  a  man  in 
Company  H.  During  the  night  Colonel  Faison,  with  250 
men,  had  completed  the  earthwork  near  the  Washington  and 
Jamesville  road  from  which  to  bombard  the  fort  at  Sander- 

At  sundoAvn  a  demonstration  on  both  sides  of  Lee's  Mill, 
Bath  road,  was  made  against  the  enemy's  south  front  by  the 
artillery  and  Ransom's  Brigade.  Our  assaulting  column 
w'as  formed  with  the  left  resting  on  Frank  Fagan's  house  on 
the  Jamesville  road,  a  mile  and  a  quarter  south  of  town,  and 
two  regiments,  the  Twenty-fourth  and  Eighth,  beyond  the 
Lee  Mill  road  at  Redd  Gap.  The  Fifty-sixth  was  next  on 
the  left,  and  then  the  Thirty-fifth,  while  the  Twenty-fifth 
connected  us  with  Hoke's  right.  The  batteries  following  on 
the  heels  of  a  battalion  of  sharpshooters  composed  of  Com- 
panies B,  I,  E  and  A,  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  under  their  worthy 
Captains,  Roberts,  Harrill,  Locldiart  and  Hughes,  led  by 
Captain  Jno.  C.  Pegram,  Assistant  Adjutant-General,  driv- 
ing the  enemy  over  their  breastworks,  advanced  steadily  from 
position  to  position,  firing  with  the  utmost  rapidity,  while  the 
rest  of  the  brigade  in  the  line  of  battle  kept  pace  with  tliem. 
Ransom  was  conspicuous  on  the  field,  keeping  his  mount 
throughout  the  engagement.  This  was  kept  up  till  10  p.  m., 
the  enemy  replying  with  great  spirit  from  his  forts  and  gun- 
boats, carrying  twenty  pieces.  The  object  was  as  far  as  pos- 
sible to  draw  the  enemy's  fire  in  this  direction,  while  Hoke's 
Brigade  assaulted  in  earnest  the  "85th  Redoubt"  at  the  San- 
derson house,  some  distance  to  our  left.  The  fort  was  carried 
after  a  very  stubborn  resistance  and  the  death  of  its  com- 
mander, Captain  Chapin.     Among  our  killed  we  mourn  the 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  339 

loss  of  the  brigade  commander,  the  gallant  Colonel  Mercer, 
of  the  Twenty-first  Georgia.  Lieutenant  Charles  R.  Wilson, 
of  Company  D,  and  14  men  of  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Carolina 
were  wounded  at  our  end.  Colonel  Mercer  was  a  West  Point 
classmate  of  Generals  J.  E.  B.  Stuart,  Hood,  Custis  Lee,  and 
W.  D.  Pender.  He  is  buried  at  TarboTo  beside  his  last 
named  comrade. 

19  April.  Towards  day  Colonel  Wm.  J,  Clarke,  with  his 
own,  the  Twenty-fourth,  and  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment,  was 
posted  below  the  town  on  the  Columbia  road,  to  prevent  escape 
in  that  direction.  But  the  enemy  was  still  confident  in  the 
strength  of  his  fortifications,  even  after  the  loss  of  the  "85th 
Redoubt"  and  the  arrival  of  our  ram,  Albemarle,  the  same 
night  passing  the  big  gims  at  Warren's  Neck  unharmed.  It 
sank  one  of  their  gunboats,  the  Southfield,  and  chased  off  the 
other  two,  the  naval  commander,  Flusser,  being  killed  on  the 
deck  of  the  Miami.  The  enemy  still  held  a  continuous,  thor- 
oughly fortified  line,  well  constructed,  from  a  point  on  the 
river,  near  Warren's  Neck,  along  their  west  and  south  fronts, 
and  terminating  on  the  east  in  a  swamp,  bordering  which  a 
deep  creek,  known  as  Conaby,  a  mile  or  two  further  east, 
runs  into  the  Roanoke  river,  on  the  south  bank  of  which  Ply- 
mouth is  situated.  It  has  four  streets  parallel  with  the  river 
and  five  at  right  angles  to  it.  Fort  Williams,  projecting  be- 
yond the  south  face  of  the  parallelogram,  is  ready  for  action 
on  all  four  sides  and  enfilades,  right  and  left,  the  whole  south 
front  of  the  fortifications,  while  Battery  Worth  was  built  to 
command  the  west,  water  and  land,  approach.  Between  the 
latter  and  Warren's  Neck  was  85th  Redoubt  at  Sanderson's 
house.  At  Boyle's  steam  mill  near  the  road  entering  Second 
street  from  the  west  was  another  redoubt  outside  the  en- 
trenchments, and  within  the  southwest  angle  still  another  at 
Harriet  Toodles'.  On  the  east  centre  was  Fort  Comfort, 
with  a  redoubt  on  either  side  of  the  Columbia  road  at  James 
Bateman's  and  Charles  Latham's.  General  Hoke  ordered 
an  assault  from  this  (east)  side  by  Ransom's  Brigade.  Ac- 
cordingly that  night  our  sharpshooters  effected  a  crossing 
of  Conaby  creek  on  felled  trees  with  some  opposition.  A 
pontoon  bridge  was  laid,  and  before  the  night  was  far  ad- 

340  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

vanccd,  the  l)rig-ad(>  was  over.  Witli  a  line  of  skirinisliers  out 
in  front,  tlic  brigade  slept  in  line  of  battle,  and  perhaps  never 
more  soundly,  for  tired  nature's  sweet  restorer  was  welcome, 
even  on  the  eve  of  certain  battle. 

•20  A]n-il.  At  the  first  break  of  day  Ransom  was  again  in 
the  saddle,  and  his  ringing  voice  came  down  the  line:  ''At- 
tention, brigade!"  Every  man  was  upon  his  feet  instantly, 
and  the  adjusting  of  twisted  blankets  across  the  left  slioulder 
and  under  the  belt  at  the  right  hip  was  only  the  work  of  an- 
other moment ;  the  line  of  battle  was  formed,  "Fix  bayonets," 
"Trail  arms !"  "Forward  march !"  and  the  charge  began. 
The  aligiiment  was  as  follows :  The  Fifty-sixth  on  the  right, 
flanked  by  Company  I,  as  sharpshooters,  (resting  on  the 
Roanoke  and  near  the  "Albemarle,"  then  engaged,  as  it  had 
been  at  intervals  through  the  night,  with  Battery  Worth  on 
the  river  face  of  the  town),  and  Twenty-fifth,  Thirty-fifth, 
Eighth  and  Twenty-fourth  successively  on  to  the  left.  On 
our  part  of  the  line  a  large  drove  of  cattle  was  encountered 
and  driven  on  as  a  living  w^all  between  us  and  the  enemy  until 
they  reached  the  canal,  down  which  they  refused  to  plunge,  or 
escort  us  further.  Maddened  by  this  strange  spectacle  of 
"man's  inhumanity  to  man,"  they  turned  about,  and  "with 
no  reputation  to  lose,"  dashing  through  our  line,  sought  safety 
in  flight.  The  canal  was  found  with  steep  banks,  but  fortu- 
nately with  fordable  water.  Ranks  were  necessarily  broken 
in  getting  across,  but  were  soon  in  perfect  order  on  the  farther 
side,  and  the  forward  movement  resumed.  The  next  obsta- 
cle was  a  swamp,  in  places  waist  deep,  through  w'hich  the 
regiment  floundered  as  best  it  could,  impeded  by  the  mire  and 
cypress  knees  with  which  it  abounded.  The  Fifty-sixth  was 
the  first  through,  and  immediately  reforming  under  an 
oblique  fire  from  the  left,  charged  up  a  slight  hill,  and  routed 
the  opposing  regiment  sheltered  behind  a  fence  of  palings, 
here  the  outer  line  of  the  town.  This  and  the  adjacent  houses 
blocked  further  advance  in  regimental  line  of  battle. 

But  the  halt  here  was  only  for  a  moment.  Company  I 
pressed  straight  forward,  sweeping  everything  before  them 
between  Water  street  and  the  river  bank,  while  the  Twenty- 
fifth  on  getting  through  the  swamp  and  finding  the  Fifty-sixth 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  341 

in  its  front,  debouched  to  the  right  and  thus  went  up  Water 
street  between  the  Fifty-sixth  and  its  detached  company.  At 
the  same  instant  General  Ransom,  reaching  this  point,  the 
Fifty-sixth  moved  off  by  the  left  flank  and  entered  the  town 
on  the  next  street  east,  by  filing  to  the  right,  left  in  front. 
Major  Graham  was  at  the  extreme  left,  now  head  of  column, 
and  on  gaining  the  open  space  about  the  county  jail,  deployed 
the  regiment  foi-ward  into  line  of  battle,  just  in  time  to  check- 
mate a  battery  of  artillery  taking  position  to  rake  the  street 
with  its  guns.  These  movements  and  the  obstacles  encoun- 
tered, again  divided  the  regiment,  carrying  the  Colonel  and 
Lieutenant-Colonel  back  to  Water  street  to  direct  the  extreme 
right,  while  the  Major,  with  eight  companies,  pressed 
forward  to  silence  the  artillery.  The  fire,  delivered  before 
we  could  reach  them,  was  fortunately  a  little  too  high,  the 
shells  in  a  direct  line  being  plainly  visible  as  they  passed 
over,  and  the  guns  were  at  once  in  our  possession — not,  how- 
ever, until  one  brave  fellow  had  blown  up  his  limber  in  our 
faces,  killing  his  nearest  horses  and  wounding  several  of  our 
men.  It  would  be  a  pleasure  here  to  record  his  name.  The 
man  retreating  with  the  caisson  was  killed  in  the  street,  wdth 
four  of  his  six  horses,  by  a  shell  from  Fort  Williams. 

This  wing  of  the  regiment,  then,  without  Avaiting  for  any 
support,  as  all  seemed  to  have  enough  to  do,  swept  on  fighting 
between  these  two  streets  the  entire  length  of  the  town,  and 
without  a  halt  charged  the  redoubt  in  their  front,  oonstitut- 
ing  a  west  section  of  the  enemy's  heavy  line  of  fortifications, 
facing  front  and  rear.  Here  they  captured  a  Pennsylvania 
regiment,  and  Major  Graham,  mounting  the  works  with  the 
regimental  flag,  waved  it  to  Hoke's  Brigade,  now  under  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Lewis  (afterwards  Brigadier-General),  and 
thus  announced  that  the  way  was  open  on  that  side.  In  this 
last  charge  the  Twenty-fourth  went  in  abreast  with  us,  having 
entered  the  town  by  the  Columbia  road,  which  leads  into  Sec- 
ond street,  after  crossing  Conaby  creek  with  a  northwest 
trend  and  then  midway  changing  to  due  west.  While  the 
Eighth  and  Thirty-fifth  swung  around  to  invest  Fort  Com- 
fort, the  Twenty-fourth  overcoming  all  opposition  before 
them  at  the  Bateman  and  Latham  redoubts,  pushed  forward 

342  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

and  connected  with  our  left  flank  as  we  struck  tlie  fortifica* 
tions, — redoubt  and  entrenched  camp. 

Major  Graham's  prisoners,  some  300  of  infantry  and  artil- 
lery, were  turned  over  to  Captain  Joseph  G.  Lockhart,  when, 
under  shelter  of  a  ravine,  uniting  his  battalion  with  Hoke's 
Brigade,  he  swept  down  first  the  west  and  then  the  south  in- 
trenchments  to  Fort  Williams,  into  which  General  Wessels 
had  withdrawn  with  the  remnant  of  his  army.  The  Twenty- 
fourth  came  up  on  the  other  side.  After  consultation  with 
Colonel  Lewis,  it  was  deemed  unnecessary  to  assault  it,  as  its 
surrender  would  be  compelled  by  our  artillery  with  the  aid  of 
shai-pshooters  being  rapidly  posted  to  overlook  its  interior 
from  the  windows  and  tops  of  the  nearest  houses.  The  two 
opposing  generals  then  met  in  a  personal  interview,  and  the 
demand  to  capitulate  was  refused.  But  the  inevitable  was 
soon  acknowledged  by  raising  a  white  flag,  as  w^e  had  silenced 
every  gun  in  the  fort. 

Meantime,  the  part  assigned  to  Harrill's  men,  under  their 
fearless  leader,  had  been  as  effectually  accomplished.  Through 
water  hip  deep,  they  had  crossed  the  canal  and  swamp,  and 
keeping  near  the  river,  passing  around  houses  and  bursting 
through  garden  and  yard  fences,  they  reached  the  rear  of 
Battery  Worth,  containing  the  200-pounder,  specially  pro- 
vided to  anticipate  the  coming  of  our  iron-clad  Albemarle. 
One  volley  was  sufficient.  The  white  flag  was  run  up  and  the 
battery,  with  some  twenty  artillerymen,  surrendered  to  him. 

Taking  the  prisoners  with  them  from  this  battery  on  the 
river,  they  immediately  charged  to  their  left  and  thus  struck 
in  the  flank  and  rear  the  right  section  of  the  enemy's  line  of 
battle  occupying  the  breastworks,  here  on  Water  street,  fac- 
ing up  the  river.  His  demand  to  surrender  was  promptly 
complied  with,  and  while  Harrill  here  gathered  in  his  prison- 
ers, largely  outnumbering  his  own  rank  and  file,  Lewis'  men 
who  had  held  the  attention  of  the  enemy  in  their  front,  came 
in  at  a  double-quick  over  the  causeway  leading  through  the 
swamp  on  the  west  of  Plymouth^  passed  Hai-rill's  position 
and  joined  Graham's  detachmout  at  the  upper  ravine  further 
to  the  south,  as  above  noted. 

How  (Iocs  it  happen,  then,   that  tlic  eapt\ire    of    Battery 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  343 

Worth,  or  Fort  Hal,  noted  above  as  by  Company  I,  has  been 
claimed  for  Company  B,  with  whom  were  Colonel  Faison 
and  Colonel  Bearing,  a  portion  of  the  Twenty-fifth  support- 
ing the  artillery  ?     Both  claims  are  literally  tnie. 

A  correspondent  to  the  Fayetteville  Observer,  22  April, 
1864,  says:  "On  the  river  face  of  the  town  was  a  camp  en- 
trenched to  resist  any  attack  from  the  water,  and  a  little  lower 
down  an  earthwork  for  the  same  purpose."  The  latter,  admit- 
ted to  be  Battery  Worth,  we  must  observe  the  distinction  be- 
tween the  two,  though  close  together. 

As  to  the  time  of  the  first  movement,  Captain  Harrill's  re- 
port is  embodied  in  the  foregoing  narration.  General  Wes- 
sells  report:  "x\t  daylight  the  following  day,  20  April,  while 
my  right  and  front  were  seriously  threatened,  the  enemy  ad- 
vanced rapidly  against  my  left,  assaulting  and  carrying  the 
line  in  that  quarter,  penetrating  the  town  along  the  river  and 
capturing  Battery  Worth."  This  left  the  entrenched  camp 
not  yet  captured,  and  as  no  other  Confederate  troops  were  in 
that  quarter  at  that  early  hour,  the  claim  of  Company  I  to 
Battery  Worth  is  thus  afiirmed. 

From  this  point  of  time  General  Wessells  thus  continues: 
"A  line  of  skirmishers  was  formed  from  the  breast^vorks  per- 
pendicularly towards  the  river  in  hopes  of  staying  the  ad- 
vance. This  effort  succeeded  for  a  time;  but  the  troops 
seemed  discouraged  and  fell  back  to  the  entrenchments." 

The  conduct  of  the  Fifty-sixth  was  well  calculated  to  create 
such  discouragement,  as  it  broke  through  all  obstacles,  driving 
the  enemy  from  the  streets,  yards,  houses,  cellars,  and  bomb- 
proofs  from  which  Major  Graham  says  they  came  out  like  a 
colony  of  prairie  puppies,  or  g-round  hogs  on  the  2d  of  Feb- 
ruary. As  those  not  captured  in  this  charge  were  thus  gradu- 
ally pressed  back  to  their  double-faced  entrenchments,  the  in- 
fantry garrison  in  the  entrenched  camp  at  Battery  Worth, 
guarding  the  water  approach  and,  owing  to  the  contour  of  the 
ground,  not  in  sight  from  his  side  of  the  fortifications  when 
Capt.  Harrill  some  two  hours  before  had  taken  the  artillery- 
men out  of  the  battery,  appear  now  to  have  had  their  attention 
diverted  from  the  commotion  of  the  Albemarle  down  stream 
to  their  right  and  Hoke  up  the  river  to  their  left.     They  now 

344  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

for  the  first  time  saw  their  enemy  in  the  town,  and  were  ready 
with  the  portion  of  the  retreating  line  that  had  joined  them, 
to  enfilade  Company  B  as  it  came  up.  Here  Colonel  Faison, 
with  this  gallant  company  under  Captain  F.  N.  Roberts,  had 
his  hands  full  for  some  time  and  accomplished  important  re- 
sults, as  described  by  the  subsequent  Captain,  then  First  Ser- 
geant A.  R.  Carver: 

"In  this  charge  our  Lieutenant,  B.  W.  Thornton,  fell  on 
Water  street  witli  a  bullet  through  the  side  of  his  forehead 
near  the  eye.  I  stopped  long  enough  to  see  the  wound,  and 
thought  liini  dead;  but  he  survived  for  a  day  or  two.  Our 
company  had  become  detached  by  the  evolutions  and  obstacles 
in  getting  through  the  town.  Just  before  General  Wessells 
capitulated,  say  by  9  or  10  oS3lock,  we  had  reached  the  vicin- 
ity of  Fort  Hal,  with  the  200-pound  gun  bearing  on  the  river. 
It  was  full  of  the  enemy,  on  whom  we  were  firing  with  our 
rifles  and  they  were  briskly  returning  our  fire.  Colonel 
Faison  came  up  to  me  during  this  firing,  when  I  pointed  to  a 
hill  on  the  right  overlooking  the  fort,  and  said  if  the  artillery 
were  posted  there,  we  would  have  the  fort  in  five  minutes. 
Soon  after  he  left  me,  I  saw  our  battery  open  from  tlie  hill, 
and  immediately  a  white  handkerchief  was  hoisted  on  a  bay- 
onet alxtve  the  fort.  T  Avas  very  near  and  ran  fnr  the  fort. 
Geiun'al  Dearing  got  across  the  moat  and  into  the  fort  ahead 
of  me,  and  jumped  on  tbe  big  gun  as  if  he  were  going  to  spike 
it,  wlicii  T  met  an  officer  at  the  gate  and  dcMiianded  his  surren- 
der. He  asked  to  be  allowed  to  surrender  to  some  higher 
ofiieer.  I  called  General  Dearing  and  he  told  him  to  surren- 
der to  me.  He  thereupon  handed  over  his  swor<l  and  ])isr()l, 
wliieh  1  kept  during  the  war.  I  think  he  belonged  to  ihc  in- 
fantry.    He  had  on  his  overcoat." 

So  tliere  were  two  captures  of  tlic  sauic  fort,  separated  by 
an  interval  of  two  or  tliree  liours. 

General  Dearing  (Colonel  at  Plymouth),  snl)se(iuenlly  fell 
6  A]n-il,  18ri5,  at  High  Bridge,  on  the  retreat  towards  Ap- 
pomattox Court  House,  in  a  hand-to-hand  contest  with  ]\Iajor 
Read,  of  G(meral  Ord's  stafi",  both  antagonists  going  down 
together.  The  big  gun  was  natiirally  llic  cliiof  attraction  to 
him,  and  of  course  he  Indievcd  to  the  dav  of  his  deatli  that  his 

ItHS  new  YORK 





April  17-  ?0, 1864. 
By  Capt  R.  D.  Graham,  56tf  f?eg.  N.C.  S.T. 

Afhr  Onginal  by  Solon  E.AIlis,  ZlttReg.  Mass.]/.  Militia , 

October,  1865. 

Ancf  Comments  of  W.  M.  Bafeman,  Superior  Court  Cl&rk. , 



500       1000      1500 

'■  I   I  I  ' 





Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  345 

portion  of  the  line  had  captured  it,  whereas  it  clearly  appears 
that  it  had  been  silent  for  at  least  two  hours,  ever  since  Cap- 
tain Harrill  carried  off  the  artillerymen  who  had  served  it. 
It  was  the  infantrv'  of  the  adjoining  entrenched  camp,  to- 
gether with  some  others,  who  had  taken  refuge  in  the  vacant 
fort,  that  he  and  Colonel  Faison  so  effectually  silenced ;  and 
we  may  say  in  the  spirit  of  the  generous  Schley,  "there  was 
glory  enough  for  all." 

The  possibilities  of  such  independent  actions  by  detach- 
ments may  be  better  understood  when  it  is  remarked  that 
within  tlie  fortifications  on  the  west  side  were  three  ravines, 
and  on  an  elevation  between  the  lower  one  and  the  river  was 
planted  Battery  Worth,  with  the  entrenched  camp  lower 
down.  The  redoubt  at  Boyle's  steam  mill  on  the  road  on 
this  side  of  the  town,  appears  to  have  been  blown  up  by  a 
shell  entering  its  magazine,  and  so  it  offered  no  resistance 
to  our  infantry,  wliile  that  at  Harriet  Toodle's,  about  the 
southwest  angle,  and  the  intervening  entrenched  camps  were 
taken  with  the  connecting  breastworks. 

The  writer  was  near  General  Hoke  when  he  received  Gen- 
eral Wessels,  accompanied  by  his  officers,  as  his  prisoner. 
There  was  everything  in  his  courteous  and  considerate  bearing 
to  lessen  the  sting  of  defeat.  Dismounting  from  his  horse 
and  clasping  the  captive's  hand,  he  assured  him  of  his  respect 
and  sympathy,  and  added :  ''After  such  a  gallant  defense  you 
can  bear  the  fortune  of  war  without  self-reproach." 

General  Wessels'  official  report,  made  after  his  exchange 
four  montlis  later,  says  that  Hoke's  conduct  was  courteous  and 
soldier-like.  His  return  of  casualties,  killed,  wounded  and 
missing  was  127  officers  and  2,707  men,  from  the  Sixteenth 
Connecticut  Infantry,  Second  Massachusetts  Heavy  Artil- 
lery, Second  North  Carolina  (Union)  Infantry,  Twelfth 
New  York  Cavalry,  Eigthy-fifth  Ne^v  York  Infantry,  Twen- 
ty-fourth New  York  Battery,  and  One  Hundred,  and  First 
and  One  Hundred  and  Third  Pennsylvania  Infantry.  Be- 
sides  3,000  stand  of  small  arms  and  some  twenty  pieces  of 
artillery,  there  was  a  large  quantity  of  all  other  supplies. 

In  our  advance  there  were  no  shirks.  The  respective  mus- 
ter rolls  might  be  exhibited  as  lists  of  those  deserving  hon- 

346  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861 -'65. 

orablo  mention.  The  splendid  conduct  of  Color  Guard  Cor- 
poral Job.  C.  Hughes,  of  Camden  county,  is  here  gratefully 

The  regimental  colors  were  carried  by  a  Sergeant,  later  on 
given  the  rank  of  Ensign  by  the  Confederate  Congress,  and 
he  was  supported  by  eight  volunteer  Corporals.  This  guard 
of  three  ranks  in  line  of  battle  formed  the  extreme  left  of  the 
right  centre  company.  This  position  fell  to  Company  D, 
and  was  retained  by  it  to  the  end  of  the  war.  It  was  thus 
in  the  assault  upon  the  redoubt  beyond  the  head  of  Second 
street  that  the  Captain  of  this  company  found  Hughes  at 
his  side  while  a  blue  coat  in  front  was  drawing  a  bead  on 
him  within  a  space  less  than  the  width  of  the  street — 
"Hughes,  kill  that  Yank,"  followed,  and  the  enemy's  aim 
was  as  deliberately  changed  to  save  his  own  life.  There 
was  one  report  from  two  rifles,  and  both  men  went  down. 
It  was  the  last  shot  ever  fired  by  the  Federal.  His 
sight  was  as  good  as  that  of  his  focman,  his  minie  ball  per- 
forating Hughes'  blanket  thirteen  times,  as  it  was  twisted 
and  worn  as  above  described,  but  ended  with  the  penetration 
of  the  breast-bone^ — probably  owing  to  his  not  having  driven 
the  ball  home  in  too  rapidly  loading  his  piece.  Within  about 
a  month  he  was  at  his  post  again.  He  was  a  brother  of  the 
gallant  Captain  of  Company  A.  In  this  charge  the  brave 
Corporal  Wm.  Daves,  volunteer  to  the  Color  Guard  from 
Company  I,  was  killed,  and  J.  P.  Sossaman,  of  Company  K, 
was  also  severely  wounded  at  the  flag. 

The  "Albemarle"  had  advanced  along  the  river  front  with 
the  charge,  firing  over  the  line.  The  honor  of  capturing  Fort 
Comfort  on  our  left,  fell  to  the  Thirty-fifth  ^STorth  Carolina 
and  it  was  renamed  Fort  Jones  in  honor  of  its  Colonel. 

General  Hoke  was  thereupon  promoted  to  Major-General 
in  recognition  of  this  successful  initiation  of  his  campaign, 
and  of  a  well  earned  record  for  gallantry  and  efliciency  in 
the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia,  and  Colonel  Bearing  was 
made  a  Brigadier-General.  Lieutenant-Colonel  Lewis  was 
soon  thereafter  promoted  to  Brigadier-General. 

In  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment,  wo  have  one  complete  com- 
pany rejiort  of  casualties: 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  347 

Company  D :  Mortally  wounded,  James  W.  Hall,  John 
W.  Holsenback,  and  Simpson  Riley — 3.  Severely  wounded, 
Lieutenant  Charles  R.  Wilson,  Corporals  G.  W.  Montgomery, 
and  Wm.  W.  Redding,  Privates  Wm.  F.  G.  Barbee,  D.  W. 
King,  Cyrus  Laws,  James  R.  Miller,  Burroughs  Pool,  James 
Roberts,  Lewellyn  Taylor,  Thomas  J.  Taylor,  Harris  Wil- 
kerson — 12.  The  commander  of  the  company  and  others 
were  also  struck,  but  not  put  hors  du  combat.  In  Company 
F,  Lieutenant  V.  J.  Palmer,  bravely  leading  Company  F, 
was  severely  wounded  as  we  passed  the  court  house.  Lieuten- 
ant B.  W.  Thornton,  of  Company  B,  was  mortally  wounded, 
the  ball  entering  just  above  the  eye,  and  coming  out  near  the 
ear,  but  was  still  able,  tliough  his  sight  was  gone,  to  recognize 
the  writer  when  he  visited  him  with  other  wounded  that  even- 
ing. He  was  a  faithful  and  efficient  soldier  from  Fayetteville. 
The  other  regiments  of  the  brigade  also  bore  conspicuous 
parts.  One  company,  at  least,  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  and  perhaps 
nearly  the  whole  regiment,  here  secured  a  complete  equip- 
ment of  first  class  rifles. 

Company  I  was  most  fortunate  in  doing  its  gallant  part, 
having  none  permanently  disabled  and  the  ever  faithful 
Daves  at  the  colors  being  its  only  man  killed  to-day. 

Since  writing  the  above  we  have  found  in  the  files  of  the 
Fayetteville  Observer,  9  May,  1864,  the  report  of  Adjutant 
John  W.  Faison,  and  give  the  casualties  accordingly : 

Company  A — Killed :  L.  Sawyer.  Wounded :  Sergeant 
S.  Smith,  Corporal  T.  G.  Ferrell,  Wm.  Garrett,  J.  C.  Hughes 
(in  breast),  J.  H.  Johnson,  Henry  Williams,  Wm.  Gallopp 
and  Wm.  Gilbert. 

Company  B — Wounded :  Lieutenant  B.  W.  Thornton, 
mortally.  Sergeant  L.  H.  Hurst,  W.  Caiwer,  J.  T.  Moore, 
Wm.  Handy  and  R.  H.  Averitt. 

Company  C — Wounded :  J.  S.  Sawyer,  B.  Hackney,  J. 
Howard,  R.  Pendergrast,  L.  Williams  and  J.  Parker. 

Company  D — (Given  above,  3  killed,  12  wounded). 

Company  E — Wounded :  Lieutenant  J.  M.  Jacobs,  Ser- 
geant A.  Harrill,  Coi-poral  Wm.  Turner,  H.  MclSTeill,  H. 
Wheeler,  W.  H.  Holland,  W.  H.  McBryde,  W.  H.  Thomas 
and  Joseph  Banks. 

348  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-65. 

CoMPA^'Y  F — Lieutenant  V.  J.  Palmer,  Corporal  A.  No- 
lan, Allen  Cogdale,  Adney  Cogdale,  Wm.  Chitwood,  H.  M. 
Gladden,  J.  G.  We])l),  J.  W.  Lindsay,  T.  P.  Cabiniss  and  N. 
W.  Koss. 

Company  G^ — Killed :  T.  W.  Nobbin  and  Izark  D.  Kinzey ; 
wounded,  IL  Allen,  E,  Carlin,  J.  Hollingsworth,  L.  M.  Greei, 
H.  Perry,  Leroy  Smith,  and  S.  Taylor, 

Company  H — Wounded:  Lieutenant  S.  R.  Holton,  C. 
Donolio  mortally,  T.  J.  Barnwell,  N.  Fox,  T.  Gately,  J. 
Miles,  D.  Miller,  B.  J.  Page,  Wm.  Thompson,  D.  Thompson 
and  J.  Chisenhall. 

Company  I — Killed :  Wm.  Daves,  T.  P.  Canipl>ell,  Sam 
Green,  IL  Harrill,  J.  P.  Philbeck,  H.  W.  Price  and  R.  H. 

Co:srPANY  K — Wounded :  Jolm  Strider,  J.  P.  Sossaman 
and  W.  Auten. 

In  the  same  issue  is  found  the  report  of  Captain  S.  IL 
Gee,  x\ssistant  Adjutant  and  Inspector  General,  giving  Ran- 
som's total  casualties  in  the  three  days'  operations,  as  fol- 
lows : 







Officers.          Men. 

8th   N.  C.  T. 



5                102 


24  th 



3                  85 





0                  20 


35  th 



4                  84 





4                  80 


Maj.  Moseley's 


Art.    0 


0                   17 


Maj.  Read's 



1                    9 


5  57  17  397  476 

The  surrender,  already  noted,  took  place  at  10 :30  a.  m. 
Several  interesting,  though  partial,  accounts  of  this  affair 
were  published  in  the  Fayetteville  Observer  soon  after  the 

21  April.  Major  J.  W.  Graham,  with  Company  I,  Twen- 
ty-fourth, Captain  Boykin ;  Company  K,  Twenty-fifth,  Lieu- 
tenant Bullerson ;  and  Company  D,  Fifty-sixth,  Captain  R. 
D.  Graham,  was  jdaced  in  charge  of  Fort  (Jray  on  Warren's 

22  Ajuil.  Visited  by  the  commanding  Major-General, 
who  found  the  post  in  much  better  order  than  we  had. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  349 

25  April.  Detachment  rejoined  the  brigade.  At  10  a.  m. 
the  column  set  out  for  Washington,  ]^.  C,  leaving  as  a  garri- 
son at  Plymouth  Martin's  ]^orth  Carolina  Brigade,  which 
has  just  joined  us. 

26  April.  Arrived  in  front  of  Washington,  N.  C.  Some 
shells  thrown  at  us  from  the  enemy's  forts.  The  enemy 
withdrew  during  the  night  to  concentrate  at  'New  Bern.  Thus 
the  second  point  in  the  campaign  was  scored  in  Hoke's  favor, 
this  time  without  the  loss  of  a  man. 

28  April — 2  May.  At  Greenville  probably  awaiting  the 
arrival  of  the  Confederate  marines  and  pontoons  from  Rich- 
mond. Crossed  the  Tar  river  here  and  Contentnea  creek  at 
Coward's  bridge,  where  we  were  joined  by  Whitford's  Sixty- 
seventh  ]^orth  Carolina  State  Troops. 

5  May.  We  passed  the  l^euse  on  a  pontoon  bridge,  not 
far  from  where  we  left  the  Contentnea.  On  nearing  ISTew 
Bern,  Lewis'  Brigade  made  a  dash  upon  the  redoubts  at  Deep 
Gully;  but  the  enemy  fled  to  avoid  capture.  The  main 
column  then  crossed  the  Trent  River  at  PoUocksville,  cap- 
tured a  block  house  near  a  mill  dam,  and  took  position  near 
the  railroad  bridge.  Dearing's  cavalry  and  artillery  moved 
to  the  south  and  captured  the  block  house  on  Brice's  creek 
that  General  Barton  thought  such  a  Gibraltar  last  February, 
and  took  fifty  prisoners.  A  section  of  Dixon's  ISTorth  Caro- 
lina Battery,  from  Orange  county,  under  Lieutenant  Halcott 
P.  Jones,  supported  by  part  of  Evans'  South  Carolina  Brig- 
ade, now  under  General  "Live  Oak"  Walker,  moved  to  the 
front  and  engaged  the  enemy's  railroad  iron-clad  monitor. 
Ransom's  Brigade  was  not  far  from  the  south  bank  of  the 

Preparations  were  made  for  putting  in  the  river  that  night 
a  pontoon  bridge,  first  parallel  with  the  stream,  securing  it 
to  the  bank  at  the  lower  end  and  swinging  the  other  across 
with  the  current  under  the  protection  of  our  guns,  to  the 
New  Bern  side  within  the  enemy's  line  of  fortifications.  The 
spirit  of  the  troops  assured  success,  and  thus  was  to  culminate 
our  l^orth  Carolina  campaign  of  1864. 


6  May.     The  intended  assault  has  been  abandoned,  and 

350  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'G5. 

Geueral  Palmer,  U.  S.  A.,  is  left  in  quiet  possession  of  New 
Bern ;  for  the  morning  finds  us  on  a  forced  march  for  old 
Virginia  again.  General  Benjamin  Franklin  Butler  is  com- 
ing up  the  south  side  of  the  James  river  via  Bermuda  Hun- 
dreds, with  30,000  men  to  attack  Petersburg.  If  possible, 
we  must  get  there  first.  General  II.  F.  Hoke,  in  a  recent  letr 
ter,  says:  "Your  mention  of  what  was  intended  at  New  Bern 
is  correct  and  I  had  no  doubt  of  its  success.  The  recall  was 
one  of  the  greatest  disappointments  I  ever  had." 

8  May.  Reach  Kinston  at  8  a.  m.  and  via  Goldsboro  pro- 
ceed to  Weldon. 

9  May.  Off  for  Petersburg  by  rail  as  far  as  Jarratt's  Sta- 
tion. Here  Kautz's  Federal  cavalry  have  dashed  in  and  cut 
the  line  of  railway.  March  thence  along  the  track  to  Stony 
creek,  about  twenty  miles,  that  night.  The  weird  hooting 
of  the  great  owls  in  the  swamps  was  almost  human  in  its  in- 
tonations and  called  forth  comments,  half  in  earnest  and  half 
in  raillery,  here  and  there  along  the  line,  such  as:  "That  is 
a  bad  sign,  boys ;  hard  times  in  old  Virginia,  and  worse 

10  May.  At  Stony  creek  we  take  the  trains  that  have 
come  out  to  meet  us,  and  are  soon  in  Petersburg.  Stack  arms 
on  Poplar  Lawn.  The  generous  hospitality  of  Judge  Lyon, 
Wm.  R.  Johnson,  and  other  citizens  is  pleasantly  remem- 
bered. Hear  that  the  place  has  been  held  till  our  an'ival  by 
the  single  brigade  of  Johnson  Hagood's  South  Carolinians. 
Lieutenant-General  D.  H.  Hill,  too  earnest  to  be  long  quiet, 
is  occupying  the  anomalous  position  of  volunteer  Aid-de- 
Camp  to  General  Beauregard,  commanding  at  Petersburg, 
pending  a  dispute  with  the  President  as  to  an  assignment 
proper  to  his  rank.  (This  quarrel  seems  to  have  resulted  in 
a  faiJure  to  present  his  appointment  to  the  Congress  for  con- 
firmation.) He  was  noted  for  a  disposition  "to  feeel  the  en- 
emy;" and  on  such  occasions  his  feelings  were  very  rough. 
Our  coup  de  main  of  2  July,  1863,  at  Crump's  farm  below 
Richmond,  he  had  just  repeated  here  with  more  terrible  odds, 
against  General  Butler's  advancing  column.  With  this 
handful  of  men,  he  had  met  him  near  Chester  and  made  such 
a  desperate  assault  as  to  put  him  on  the  defensive  to  await 



A8T0R,   LENOX    AND 


1.  Otis  P.  Mills,  Captain,  Co.  G. 

a.  A.  C.  Roliertson,  Ord'ly-Sergt.,  Co.  G. 

3.  W.  (i.  Graves,  Captain,  Co.  H. 

4.  L.  Harrill,  Captain.  Co.  I. 


Jos.  31.  •Walker,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  I. 
C.  V.  Tanner.  Cd  Lieut.,  Co.  I. 
.1.  F.  Mc.N.'.'lv.  Captain.  Co.  K. 
T.  W.  Sli.-plieid,  1st  Lieut..  Co.  K. 

9.    Chas.  M.  Payne,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  K.    (Picture  in  Suppl.uieutary  Group,  4th  vol.) 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  351 

further  developments.  In  the  time  thus  gained  reinforce- 
ments arrived,  and  we  knew  that  with  the  Army  of  Northern 
Virginia  we  could  successfully  hold  Richmond  and  Peters- 
burg against  all  opposing  forces  then  in  the  field.  With 
Major-General  Iloke,  there  were  now  Ransom's  North  Caro- 
lina, Lewis'  North  Carolina,  Walker's  (formerly  Evans') 
South  (.^arolina.  Corse's  Virginia,  and  Kemper's  Virginia 
Brigades.  This  division  took  position  a  short  distance  be- 
yond Swift  creek. 

11  May.  Moved  to  Half -Way  House.  The  enemy  now 
appears  in  great  force  between  us  and  Petersburg,  occupying 
both  the  railroad  and  turnpike.  We  offer  battle;  but  noth- 
ing follows  beyond  some  sharp  skirmishing.  Ransom's  Bri- 
gade forms  the  extreme  Confederate  left,  near  the  river. 

BATTLE  OF   12   MAY. 

12  May.  This  brigade  is  moved  across  the  turnpike  and 
posted  near  the  winter  quarters  on  rising  ground  to  the 
right,  facing  Petersburg,  forming  now  the  right  flank.  In 
the  afternoon,  advanced  down  the  railroad  towards  Peters- 
burg, and  occupied  breastworks  at  a  point  near  where  the 
fortified  line  crosses  this  road.  Here  the  line  terminates 
after  changing  its  general  bourse  and  running  off  at  almost  a 

right  angle  (towards  the  river  on  the  left  near • 

house).  Our  artillery  is  engaged  with  that  of  the  enemy 
in  the  woods  to  the  front.  A  line  of  skirmishers  is  scarcely 
formed  and  thrown  out  to  our  right  and  rear  for  a  recon- 
noissance  under  "the  fighting  Quartermaster  of  the  Forty- 
ninth,"  Captain  Cicero  Durham,  when  they  receive  a  volley 
from  a  line  of  battle  in  ambush,  and  this  gallant  leader  and 
many  of  his  brave  comrades  have  fought  their  last  fight.  A 
rush  is  made  by  the  enemy,  and  Generals  Hoke  and  Ran- 
som, just  arrived  at  the  house  for  consultation,  barely  escape 
capture.  On  came  the  line  as  to  an  easy  victory,  but  not  as 
quick  as  was  our  command  in  leaping  to  the  other  side  of  the 
breastworks.  After  a  sharp  fight  they  were  repulsed  by  the 
well-directed  shots  of  a  portion  of  the  Fifty-sixth  Regiment 
holding  the  top  of  the  steep  bank  of  earth,  while  their  com- 
rades in  the  deep  ditch  below  handed  up  their  rifles  as  rapidly 

352  North  Carolina  Trooj's,   1  SGI -'65. 

as  they  could  be  reloaded.  There  were  here  many  instances 
of  individual  bravery,  and  it  is  a  matter  of  regi'et  that  the 
State,  at  whose  call  these  men  offered  their  lives,  has  no  fuller 
account  of  them.  In  Company  B,  D.  P.  Blizzard  was  killed, 
and  the  gallant  A.  K.  (^irvci-,  then  a  Lieutenant  and  subse- 
(lucntly  Captain,  lost  an  arm.  I)a\i<l  .McKce,  of  Company  D, 
Orange  county,  is  now  remembered  as  among  the  conspicuous 
ones  in  the  position  which  he  occupied,  and  from  which  he 
fired  sixteen  times  with  steady  aim,  and  it  is  thought,  with 
fatal  effect,  at  such  close  quarters.  When  the  exposed  portion 
of  the  brigade,  after  resisting  the  assault  upon  it,  had  been 
withdrawn  behind  this  effective  fire,  the  Fifty-sixth  as  rear 
guard,  retired  in  perfect  order.  They  had  simply  practiced 
the  tactics  of  Forrest  and  checkmated  a  rear  attack  of  the  en- 
emy. "Face  about  and  get  in  their  rear,"  was  his  only  order 
for  a  similar  occasion.  The  perfect  discipline  of  the  command 
was  evinced  by  there  being  no  sign  of  a  panic.  Thomas 
Owens  and  George  Griffin,  of  Company  I,  were  also  among 
those  who  displayed  coolness  and  courage  in  this  action,  the 
former  being  severely  wounded.  From  exposure  he  had  lost 
his  voice  so  that  he  could  not  speak  above  a  whisper.  The 
wound  directly  above  his  breast  instantaneously  cured  his 

But  the  enemy  is  evidently  in  such  force  that  we  concen- 
trate upon  our  second  line  of  defences.  Each  side  watches 
for  the  initiative  from  the  other.  x\t  night  there  is  cheering 
along  our  lines,  and  the  cause  is  that  Beauregard  has  just 
come  in  from  Petersburg. 

SECOND  day's  fight. 

13  May.  The  writer  saw  Beauregard  on  the  field.  Of 
medium  size  and  military  bearing,  his  most  striking  feature 
is  his  sharp  bright  eye,  and  a  thoughtful,  intelligent  expres- 
sion befitting  his  reputation  as  one  of  the  best  military  en- 
gineers. Firing  kept  up  through  the  day  by  the  artillery  and 

THIRD  day's   fight. 

14  May.     Brigadier-General  Ransom  is  severely  wounded 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  353 

in  the  left  arm  by  a  minie  hall  and  does  not  return  to  the  bri- 
gade till  the  fall.  Colonel  Wm.  J.  Clarke,  of  the  Twenty- 
fourth,  as  senior  Colonel,  succeeds  him.  Battle  at  long  range 
continued  through  the  day. 


15  May.  Yesterday's  program  continued,  in  which  we 
again  lose  a  brigade  commander,  Colonel  Clarke  being 
wounded  in  the  shoulder  by  the  fragment  of  a  shell.  Colonel 
Leroy  M.  McAfee,  of  the  Forty-ninth,  then  assumes  com- 
mand. The  Fifty-sixth  occupied  a  position  on  the  line  near 
the  Washington  Artillery,  of  New  Orleans. 

Without  the  means  of  coiToboration,  I  here  note  that  we 
hear  that  the  President,  who  has  come  down  from  Richmond, 
orders  General  Beauregard  to  make  a  general  assault  to-mor- 
roAV,  and  that  Beauregard  files  a  protest,  in  view  of  the  ter- 
rible odds  against  his  available  force — at  least  3  to  2,  proba- 
bly double  that — and  protected  by  breastworks. 


16  May.  Soon  after  midnight  the  brigade  is  moved  from 
the  trenches,  occupied  for  the  last  three  days,  and -formed  in 
line  of  battle  across  the  turnpike,  facing  towards  Petersburg, 
with  the  left  of  the  Fifty-sixth  resting  on  the  turnpike.  Up 
to  this  time  it  was  thought  we  were  going  out  to  get  a  rest. 
This  opinion,  however,  was  dispelled  by  the  issuing  of  an 
extra  quantity  of  cartridges.  But  for  the  first  time  in  our 
history,  we  start  in  on  the  reserve  line.  Just  before  dawn 
we  move  forward  supporting  Bushrod  R.  Johnson's  Tennes- 
see Brigade.  They  suffer  severely  near  the  turnpike,  their 
advance  being  impeded  by  obstructions  of  telegraph  wire 
upon  which  many  of  them  are  tripped  within  deadly  range. 
But  they  gallantly  carry  the  line  in  their  front,  while  our 
Twenty-fourth  and  Forty-ninth  take  the  enemy's  line  of 
works  in  a  piece  of  woods  to  their  right.  The  assault  is,  as 
Mr.  Davis  had  predicted,  successful  at  every  point;  while 
Major-General  Robert  Ransom,  having  come  out  from  Rich- 
mond with  three  Brigades,  is  sweeping  down  their  left  flank, 
and  rear,  capturing  some  regiments  entire.     Before  Ransom 


-B64  North  Carolina  Troops,   18G1-'G5. 

•reaches  them,  spasmodic  efforts  here  and  there  are  made  to 
regain  lost  points  along  the  line,  from  which  we  had  dis- 
lodged them ;  hut  they  are  repulsed  in  each  instance.  They 
rush  down  the  turnpike  with  their  artillery  nearly  to  our 
lines,  just  taken  from  them,  and  open  fire;  but  their  guns  are 
soon  in  our  hands,  men  and  horses  going  down  under  the  ter- 
rible fire  with  which  they  are  met.  It  was  not  far  from  this 
point  that  tlie  writer  saw  the  President  during  this  battle. 
He  was  probably  nearer  Butler  than  he  had  been  for  four 
years,  as  his  courier  whom  we  captured  in  the  vicinity,  said 
he  was  then  very  near  the  general.  (At  the  National  Demo- 
cratic Convention  of  1860,  in  Charleston,  S.  C,  Butler  gave 
fifty-seven  successive  votes  for  Davis  as  his  choice  for  Pres- 
ident of  the  United  States. ) 

And  now  we  waited  anxiously  for  the  attacks  to  be  made 
on  the  right  flank  and  rear  of  the  enemy  by  General  Whiting 
with  the  two  or  three  l:)rigades  in  his  hands  on  the  Petersburg 
side.  But  in  vain !  This  plan  carried  out  with  the  courage 
for  which  the  General  had  already  made  a  reputation  among 
the  bravest  and  the  best  soldiers  in  the  Army  of  Northern  Vir- 
ginia, should  have  resulted  in  the  capture  of  all  Butler's  ar- 
tillery and  wagons,  (that  he  was  safely  withdrawing  in  our 
sight),  and  a  good  portion  of  his  Army  of  the  James.  Gen- 
eral D.  H.  Hill  was  with  General  Whiting,  but  without  com- 
mand. Both  his  prayers  and  imprecations  to  deliver  the 
coup  de  grace  were  without  avail.  Is  it  an  evil  genius  that 
thus  hovers  above  the  Confederate  cross  ?  For  this  is  not  the 
first  time  that  it  has  been  checked  on  the  high  tide  to  an  effec- 
tive victory  by  a  voice  that  certainly  came  not  out  of  the 
North,  saying:  "Thus  far  shall  thou  go,  and  no  farther." 

The  only  casualty  remembered  in  the  regiment  as  of  to-day 
is  the  mortally  wounding  of  Green  Bowers,  of  Company  D, 
by  a  rifle  ball  which  also  went  through  an  artillery  horse  near 
him  on  the  front  line. 


17  May.  Though  we  have  not  captured  Butler,  we  have 
"bottled  him  up"  (as  General  Grant  reports  it  to  Mr.  Lin- 
coln), between  the  James  and  Appomattox    rivers,    and    a 

PUBLIC  library] 


Region  embraced  in  the  Operations  of  the  A.rmies 
Reduced  from  Map  of  tlie  Engineer  Bureau,  War  Dept 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  355 

much  smaller  force  will  be  amply  sufficient  to  hold  our  shorter 
line  across  the  naiTOw  neck  from  bend  to  bend  of  the  here 
converging  rivers,  which  lower  down  diverge  considerably  be- 
fore uniting,  thus  suggesting  General  Grant's  figure.  Our 
line  extends  from  near  Bermuda  Hundreds  on  the  fonner  to 
a  point  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Confederate  Fort  Clifton  on  the 
latter.     D.  H.  Hill  urges  another  assault. 

18  May.  With  a  picket  line  advanced,  we  throw  up  a 
counter  line  of  works,  receiving  a  shelling  from  Butler's  gun- 

19  May.  Company  D  is  out  in  front,  some  500  yards  to 
the  right  of  the  Howlett  house,  rectifying  the  line  of  rifle 
pits  to  conform  to  the  possible  line  of  attack  and  defence. 
Consultation  with  General  W.  G.  Lewis,  recently  promoted 
from  Lieutenant-Colonel  to  Brigadier-General,  and  well 
known  as  an  engineer  of  ability,  who  appears  on  the  line. 


20  May.  Companies  B  and  H,  Captains  F.  N.  Roberts 
and  W.  G.  Graves,  relieve  Company  D,  which  joins  the  regi- 
ment. About  2  p.  m.,  Beauregard  makes  a  general  assault 
from  right  to  left  on  Butler's  line,  and  drives  it  in  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  on  the  right,  and  something  less  on  the  left. 
Our  troops  on  this  part  of  the  line  were  put  in  too  spasmodi- 
cally, in  unsupported  detachments,  allowing  the  enemy  to  re- 
inforce from  point  to  point  as  successively  threatened,  or  to 
make  a  counter-charge  and  flank  movement  with  fresh  troops 
against  ours  before  they  could  recover  from  the  disorder  in- 
cident to  a  headlong  rush  into  the  contested  positions.  The 
fight  upon  the  part  of  the  Fifty-sixth  ended  with  the  enemy's 
picket  line,  from  which  we  had  driven  their  advanced  line  of 
battle,  in  our  possession.  The  loss  to  the  Fifty-sixth  was  90 
killed  and  wounded  in  less  than  half  as  many  minutes,  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Luke  being  one  of  the  wounded.  In  Com- 
pany D,  as  follows:  Washington  Blackwood,  Jesse  Clark, 
John  Clark,  James  Hicks,  Elzy  Riley,  James  Roberts,  Wm. 
N.  Simmes  and  Corporal  J.  Erwin  Laycock ;  also  James  M. 
Clark,  Ensign,  and  Jesse  Brown  and  William  E.  Faucett,  all 
wounded.     Jesse  Brown,  like    Corporal    Hughes    at    Ply- 

356  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65". 

iii(iuf]i,  luul  his  twisted  l)lankct.  pierced  a  dozen  times  by  a 
miiiie  ball  which  burnt  his  arm  without  breaking  the  bone, 
and  he  will  return  to  duty  in  a  few  days.  The  Ca])tain  of 
Company  D  promoted  Solon  E.  Birkhead  from  ])rivate  to 
First  Sergeant  for  conspicuous  bravery  in  this  battle,  known 
as  the  battle  of  Ware  Bottom  Church,  or  Clay's  Farm. 
Among  the  wounded  in  Company  H  was  Lieutenant  R.  W. 
Belo,  who  lost  a  foot.  Company  I  lost  some  of  its  best  men : 
Sergeant  Amos  Harrill  (brother  of  the  (Japtain),  Coq^oral 
W.  C.  Beam,  George  Griffin  and  the  brothers,  Jack  and  Joe 
Tessenear,  all  killed,  and  twelve  men  wounded.  Company 
A  here  lost  a  great  favorite  in  the  killing  of  the  brave  Isaac 
G.  Gallopp. 

21  May.  Busy  strengthening  the  new  line,  and  22  May 
Lieutenant  Charles  R.  Wilson  and  others  rejoined  the  com- 
pany, having  been  wounded  at  Plymouth. 

23  May,  Flag  of  truce  to  bury  the  dead  on  the  contested 
ground  between  the  tw^o  lines.  A  ghastly  sight.  Some  are 
not  recovered,  as  they  fell  wdthin  the  enemy's  lines,  three 
days  ago — a  sad  uncertainty  around  some  hearthstones  until 
peace  on  earth  shall  return  again.  Information  is  obtained 
of  the  gallant  "Live  Oak"  Walker,  whom  we  met  on  the  field 
just  tO'  our  right,  20  May,  in  command  of  Evans'  (S.  C) 
Brigade,  Colonel  Elliott  now  commanding.  The  enemy  re- 
port him  doing  well  after  the  amputation  of  his  leg. 

Some  of  the  casualties  of  the  last  week's  operations  were  J 

Company  B — Killed :  D.  P.  Blizzard  ;  wounded.  Lieuten- 
ant A.  R.  Carver  and  John  Tart. 

Company  C — ^Wounded :  Corporal  J.  Matthews  and  Wm. 

Company  E — Sergeant  J.  IST.  Clark  and  B.  Garner; 
wounded,  B.  F.  Sikes. 

Company  G — Killed:  James  Tucker;  wounded,  R.  P. 
Smith  and  C.  Love. 

Company  H — Wounded :  Sergeant  T.  J.  Montague,  Cor- 
poral 'N.  A.  Home,  David  May,  J.  O.  Scoggins,  Sergeant  S. 
A.  Thompson,  Corporal  H.  C.  Murchison,  W.  F.  Lackey 
(supposed  killed),  11.  Bledsoe,  J.  Bolin,  G.  W.  Bogle,  S.  L. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  357 

Garden,  John  Lee,  F.  Patterson,  T.  J.  Peel,  M.  Stewart,  J. 
H.  Vickers,  W.  S.  Whitaker,  G.  Roberts,  W.  T.  Patterson. 
Missing:  K.  P.  Combs,  J.  L.  Casote  and  J.  S.  Massey. 

Company  K — Wounded:  Sergeant  J.  J.  MclSTeely,  G.  W. 
Edwards,  Z.  Morgan  and  A.  C.  Shields. 

Company  I — Wounded :  Sergeant  C.  P.  Tanner,  G.  W. 
Spurlin,  D.  P.  Smart,  J.  M.  Michael,  J.  W.  Campe  and  J.  J. 

Company  F — Wounded:  Lieutenant  J.  R.  Grigg,  W.  C. 
Wolf,  M.  Crowder. 

25  May.  In  the  romantic  intimacy  that  has  sprung  up 
between  the  j^ickets  of  the  two  opposing  armies,  a  soldier  in 
the  Twenty-fifth  North  Carolina  lends  his  pick  to  a  Yankee 
to  dig  his  rifle  pit,  a  new  one  being  made  necessary  by  our 
last  move  upon  them ;  and  the  blue  coat  returns  it  after  com- 
pleting the  job. 

31  May.  Major-General  Hoke,  with  his  division,  consist- 
ing now  of  Clingman's  ISTorth  Carolina,  Martin's  IsTorth  Car- 
olina, Hagood's  South  Carolina  and  Colquitt's  Georgia  Brig- 
ades is  ordered  to  Cold  Harbor. 

2  June.  A  demonstration  in  force  by  us  is  made  along  the 
whole  of  the  line  between  the  two  rivers,  leaving  the  enemy's 
right  intact,  but  pushing  back  their  left  some  400  yards, 
while  in  the  centre  the  ground  lost  by  them  in  the  first  as- 
sault is  recovered  by  a  counter-charge.  During  the  whole 
night  our  pickets  kept  up  a  rapid  firing. 

During  this  week  General  Bushrod  R.  Johnson  re- 
ceives a  commission  as  Major-General,  and  to  him  are  as- 
signed Ransom's  North  Carolina,  Evans'  South  Carolina 
(commanded  l\v  General  Elliott,  promoted  to  succeed  Walk- 
er), Grade's  Alabama,  and  Wise's  Virginia  Brigades. 
This  division  now  holds  Butler  in  the  bottle  by  guarding 
the  shortened  line  from  the  Howlett  house  (near  Dutch 
Gap),  to  Fort  Clifton.  Captains  Grigg  and  Graham,  with 
two  companies  of  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Carolina,  relieve  the 
picket  line  just  before  day,  and  find  that  the  innocent  fire- 
flies have  caused  much  of  the  commotion  of  the  night,  the 
men  firing  at  the  flicker  without  waiting  for  the  crack  of  a 

358  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

rifle  or  the  sound  of  a  bullet.     No  more  ammunition  was 
wasted  in  such  mimicry  of  war. 

3  June,  1864.  Grant,  at  5  a.  m.,  renews  the  assault  at 
Cold  Harbor,  pressing  up  to  our  works  in  solid  columns.  But 
the  contest  is  over  in  sixty  minutes,  and  they  are  repulsed 
with  a  loss  of  12,737  (as  per  official  report),  many  of  these 
being  negroes.  An  advance  is  again  ordered  by  him  at  8  a. 
m.,  but  his  men  refuse  to  move.  He  had  doubtless  hoped  to 
make  these  assaults  the  culmination  of  his  "Wilderness  Cam- 
paign." The  former  Adjutant  of  tlie  Fifty-sixth,  now  Assist- 
ant Adjutant  General  of  Lane's  North  Carolina  Brigade,  was 
the  bearer  of  General  Leee's  reply  to  General  Grant's  proposi- 
tion tliat  botli  parties  might  bury  their  dead  and  attend  to 
their  wounded.  General  Lee,  having  none  uncared  for,  de- 
clined this,  and  only  yielded  when  General  Grant  formally 
asked  to  be  allowed  to  care  for  his  own. 

4  June.  Ransom's  Brigade,  Colonel  H.  M.  Rutledge  com- 
manding, proceeds  to  Bottom's  bridge  on  the  Chickahominy, 
below  Richmond,  and  reports  to  Major-General  Robert  Ran- 
som. Colonel  Rutledge  is  taken  sick  and  sent  to  the  hospital 
and  the  command  of  the  Brigade  goes  to  Colonel  Paul  F.  Fai- 
son,  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Luke  command- 
ing the  regiment. 

5  June.  The  Forty-ninth  and  Fifty-sixth  are  posted  near 
the  railroad  bridge. 

7  June.  Company  K,  Captain  F.  R.  Alexander,  and 
Company  D,  Captain  R.  D.  Graham  on  picket  line  near  the 
stream.  Our  friends,  the  enemy,  make  a  proposition  to  us. 
the  Dutch  Captain  declaring,  "T  Avould  like  to  keep  de  beace- 
aple  as  far  as  bossiple."  We  agree  that  long  range  isolated 
sharpshooting  shall  not  be  indulged  in.  They  were  Penn- 
sylvania dismounted  cavalry. 

9  June.  Brigade  marched  to  Cliaffin's  farni,  and  occu- 
pied the  winter  quarters  at  Fort  Harrison.  The  rest  is  very 
much  enjoyed,  and  a  uuinber  of  us  visit  friends  belonging  to 
the  Confederate  fleet  in  the  James. 

13  June.  In  toucliing  distance  of  our  baggage  to-day  for 
the  first  time  since  we  crossed  the  State  line — over  a  month 
since.     Such  is  war. 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  359 

investment  of  peteksbueg  begun. 

15  June.  Crossing  the  James  on  a  pontoon  bridge  at 
Drewrv's  Bluff,  we  marched  all  night  to  Petersburg. 

16  June.  The  Fifty-sixth  is  detached  at  Pocahontas 
Bridge,  and  held  in  readiness  to  report  to  Geaieral  Gracie, 
commanding  the  Alabama  Brigade,  if  called  for,  at  Swift 
Creek.  The  rest  of  the  Brigade  under  Colonel  Faison  re- 
ports to  General  Beauregard  on  the  line  of  intrenchments  to 
the  east  of  Petersburg,  and  south  of  the  Appomattox  river. 
The  head  of  Grant's  army  is  now  on  the  south  side  of  the 
James  and  advancing  from  City  Point.  Petersburg  is  evi- 
dently the  new  objective  point.  Hoke's  Division  has  here 
met  their  first  assault,  and  after  a  very  stubborn  contest,  re- 
tired from  a  section  of  the  outer  line  near  Jordan's  house. 
Beauregard  with  this  reinforcement,  makes  a  counter-charge, 
and  re-establishes  the  original  line.  This  is  on  the  south 
of  the  Appomattox,  and  out  near  the  Baxter  road.  Here 
Captain  John  C.  Pegram,  our  efiicient  Adjutant-General, 
was  mortally  wounded  while  placing  the  Brigade  in  position. 

Late  this  evening  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Carolina,  being 
joined  by  the  Forty-ninth  North  Carolina  returning  from 
the  position  just  named,  where  the  brigade  had  been  hotly  en- 
gaged, and  well  handled,  under  Colonel  Faison,  moves  out  to 
Swift  Creek,  and  uniting  with  Grade's  Brigade,  the  column 
advances  under  that  gallant  officer,  driving  Butler  back  to 
Bermuda  Hundreds  and  establishing  a  junction  with  Pick- 
ett's Division  coming  down  from  Richmond.  The  enemy 
had  torn  up  the  Richmond  &  Petersburg  Railroad  at  the  point 
of  crossing  the  turnpike. 

Having  thus  put  Butler  back  into  his  bottle,  we  turn  the 
cork  over  to  Pickett's  Division,  the  line  now  confronting  him 
again  being  the  same  that  was  occupied  by  Beauregard's 
army  immediately  after  the  defeat  of  Butler  at  Ware  Bottom 
Church  20  May.  The  emergency  had  compelled  Beaure- 
gard to  quietly  abandon  for  the  time  this  position  to  meet 
Grant's  advance  from  City  Point,  posting  Gracie  at  Swift 
Creek  to  check  Butler  in  any  attempt  to  enter  Petersburg 
from  the  north  side  of  the  Appomattox. 

17  June.      Morning    finds    us    crossing  the  Appomattox 

360  North  Carolina  Troops,   1 861 -'65.. 

again,  with  scarcely  an  hour's  rest,  and  that  was  spent  in 
waiting  for  a,  train.  The  Forty-ninth  and  Fifty-sixth  imme- 
diately go  into  line  of  battle,  with  our  brigade,  al)out  a  mile 
to  the  east  of  Petersburg,  and  extending  at  a  right  angle 
south  from  the  Jerusalem  road.  Here  we  throw  up  a  new 
line  of  breastworks.  After  some  very  desperate  fighting,  in 
which  the  three  other  regiments  bore  their  full  share,  in  front 
of  this  position,  Beauregard  found  the  original  line  here  un- 
tenable with  such  odds  against  him,  and  had  Avithdraw^n  thus 
far,  preserving  each  organization,  l)ut  losing  several  pieces 
of  artillery,  especially  in  Graham's  Petersburg  Battery. 
Johnson's  Tennessee  Brigade  is  said  to  have  sustained  the 
heaviest  losses.  In  this  new  position  a  box  of  cartridges 
npon  one  of  our  men  of  the  Fifty-sixth  was  exploded  by  the 
concussion  of  a  bullet  from  the  enemy — the  only  instance 
recollected  during  the  war.  Here,  too.  First  Lieutenant  Jos. 
B.  Coggin,  of  Company  D,  a  brave  and  efficient  officer,  from 
South  Lowell,  Orange  county,  was  mortally  wounded. 

VOLUNTARY    :sriGHT    CHAKGE    OF    17    .JUNE. 

About  dark,  word  is  passed  along  the  line  that  General 
Beauregard  says  that  if  we  will  hold  our  own  until  10  o'clock, 
all  will  be  well.  The  'Tving  of  Spades"  did  not  explain.  So 
the  guess  lay  between  whether  we  would  then  get  a  rest,  or 
have  the  privilege  of  digging  another  hole  in  the  ground. 

Before  the  time  is  up,  and  without  other  troops  taking 
our  place.  Ransom's  Brigade  was  rapidly  moved  down  tlie 
rear  of  the  line,  by  the  left  flank,  and  took  position  in  some 
pine  woods  near  the  Baxter  road.  In  a  short,  time  the  line 
was  advanced  and  took  position  on  tlu^  open  ground  in  front. 
The  men  supposed  ^ve  were  supporting  a  line  of  battle  in  our 
front  held  by  Wise's  Brigade;  but  the  fact  was* that  they  had 
been  ovei*powered  and  compelled  to  abandon  this  positioru 

We  were  now  the  only  line  between  the  enemy  and  Peters- 
burg. Tliis  was  soon  made  evident  by  a  terrible  volley, 
which  killed  among  others,  that  fearless  and  most  competent 
ofiieer,  and  courteous  gentleman.  Captain  Frank  R.  Alexan- 
der, of  Mecklenburg,  as  he  was  advancing  to  make  a  recon- 
noissance  with  his  splendid  Company  (K).     From  the  cap- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  361 

tured  line  the  brigade  was  now  exposed  to  the  rapid  fire  of 
a  double  line  of  battle,  the  flash  of  their  guns  coming  both 
from  the  ditch  and  over  the  embankments  above  it  in  its 
rear,  as  they  now  faced  us.  ]^o  organization  could  wait 
for  orders  or  live  in  short  range  of  such  a  fire.  We  must 
make  a  change  of  base  immediately.  With  a  simultane- 
ous impulse  the  brigade  arose  and  dashed  forward.  In  a 
few  minutes  the  line  was  ours,  and  the  roar  of  musketry  over. 
The  Thirty-fifth  met  with  the  fiercest  resistance,  and  in  their 
hand-to-hand  struggle  in  the  works,  lost  their  own  stand  of 
colors  temporarily  and  took  two  from  the  enemy.  In  this 
charge  was  also  the  Twenty-second  South  Carolina,  of  El- 
liott's Brigade,  gallantly  moving  forvvard  with  the  first  on 
the  left,  and  sweeping  the  enemy's  line  before  them.  The 
complete  casualties  cannot  now  be  given ;  but  the  heaviest  loss 
was  sustained  by  the  Thirty-fifth  jSTorth  Carolina,  which  lost 
70  killed,  among  them  their  superb  leader,  that  Christian  gen- 
tleman, Colonel  Jno.  G.  Jones,  of  Person  county.  The  wound- 
ing of  Wm.  I.  Gillis,  Frank  Roberts,  James  Beri'y  and  James 
McKee,  of  Company  D,  Fifty-sixth  iSTorth  Carolina,  are  re- 
called as  a  part  of  the  casualties  in  this  remarkable  battle. 
The  prisoners  were  passed  up  the  line  to  the  right.  Soon 
thereafter,  the  Captain  of  the  Color  Company  of  the  Fifty- 
sixth  North  Carolina  noticed  what  seemed  (in  the  night), 
to  be  a  good  portion  of  the  brigade  abandoning  the  works  and 
moving  compactly  to  the  rear.  Rushing  out  to  them  with 
commands  and  entreaties,  and  protesting  against  immedi- 
ately giving  up  what  had  been  gained  at  such  a  cost,  he  discov- 
ered that  these  were  the  prisoners  there  consolidated  and  on 
the  march  to  the  rear.  Of  course,  he  did  not  further  inter- 
fere with  the  procession. 

Later  in  the  night  a  Federal  ofiicer  was  foimd  on  the  cap- 
tured line,  suffering  too  severely  to  move,  and  begging  to  be 
sent  to  the  rear;  but  on  being  quietly  asked  if  he  would  not 
rather  take  his  chances  with  his  own  people  in  the  morning, 
as  it  was  now  evident  that  we  were  about  to  be  recalled,  he 
with  cheerful  and  very  quiet  resignation  awaited  our  de- 

Company  I  secured  an  equipment  of  Springfield  rifles  and 

362  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

a  supply  of  ammunition.  Some  of  these  guns  were  orna- 
mented on  the  stocks  with  candngs  of  fish,  animals,  snakes, 
turtles,  etc.  They  w^ere  highly  prized  and  carried  by  the 
men  to  the  close  of  the  war.  They  were  carved  hy  the  Min- 
nesota Indians,  from  whom  they  were  here  captured. 


18  June.  The  brigade  was  withdrawn  towards  Peters- 
burg by  the  Baxter  road,  and  after  crossing  a  streamlet,  east 
and  in  sight  of  Blanford  cemetery,  was  assigned  a  position 
on  the  crest  of  the  first  rising  ground,  the  right  resting  on  the 
Jerusalem  Plank  Road.  Major  John  W.  Graham  covered  the 
movement  with  a  line  of  skirmishers,  composed  largely  of 
Company  I  under  its  gallant  Captain,  retiring  them  in  the 
early  dawn,  after  repulsing  an  attack  by  an  opposing  line  of 
skirmishers.  Soon  a  new  line  was  laid  out  by  the  engineer, 
and  with  the  insufficient  tools  brought  out  of  the  battle  of 
last  night,  as  gathered  on  the  field,  the  men  prepared  to  re- 
ceive an  assault.  The  Captain  of  Company  D  insisted  that 
his  company  should  lie  placed  further  to  the  front  at  the 
brow  of  the  hill  so  as  to  command  its  eastern  face. 

Assent  is  about  to  be  given  by  the  engineer  in  charge,  Colo- 
onel  D.  B.  Harris,  when  the  enemy  are  seen  constructing  a 
battery  out  to  the  left  which  threatened  a  partial  enfilade  of 
this  salient.  This  objection  he  met  by  a  proposition  to  con- 
struct traverses  against  tliis  cross  fire,  being  confident  that 
the  enemy  could  never  reach  the  top  of  that  hill  if  his  men 
could  sight  them  from  the  time  they  began  the  ascent.  The 
location  of  a  section  of  artillery  (from  Pegram's  Virginia 
Battery),  already  in  position  immediately  to  the  left  of  this 
spot,  (to  the  right  of  a  ravine  crossing  the  line,)  doubtless 
decided  the  engineer  to  adhere  to  his  first  plan.  Momen- 
tous consequences  and  one  of  the  bloodiest  battles  of  the 
war  are  to  follow  tliis  decision.  The  work  proceeded  as 
rapidly  as  could  be  with  men  sO'  long  on  a  constant  strain, 
and  now  three  consecutive  nights  without  sleep,  and  faring 
almost  as  roughly  as  to  rations.  Lieutenant-Colonel  G.  G. 
Luke,  disabled  by  a  severe  carbuncle,  which  is  aggravate<i  by 
this  exposure,  reluctantly  seeks  relief  at  the  hands  of  the  sur- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  363 

geon  in  the  rear,  and  Major  Graham  is  left  in  command,  giv- 
ing his  attention  specially  to  the  left  wing,  while  the  right 
separated  from  his  by  the  ravine  and  the  artillery  just  men- 
tioned, is  under  Captain  Frank  IT.  Roberts,  of  Company  B. 
This  is  the  third  day  of  the  three  for  which  our  grand  com- 
mander, the  invincible  Lee,  has  sent  us  word  that  we  must 
hold  Petersburg  for  him  at  all  hazards.  The  question  of  mar- 
tial courage  would  seem  to  have  been  already  decided ;  and 
now  comes  that  of  physical  endurance.  The  men  work  with  a 
will,  cracking  jokes  with  their  wonted  cheerfulness.  Mean- 
while the  legions  of  Grant  are  not  idle,  as  we  can  see  them 
massing  in  our  front,  and  their  artillery  has  again  commenced 
playing  upon  us.  But  for  the  turn  affairs  took  last  night,  this 
new  line  would  have  been  ready  by  daylight  for  the  enemy's 
reception.  As  it  is,  we  must  meet  them  again  while  it  is  barely 
inhabitable,  as  nearly  every  man  came  off  the  battle  field 
Ihis  morning  with  an  extra  gun,  while  spades  and  picks  are 
the  exception ;  and  considerable  time  has  been  consumed  in 
gathering  in  implements  as  best  we  could  from  the  town. 

The  contour  of  the  ground  enables  the  enemy  to  form  their 
lines  of  battle  unmolested  some  300  yards  in  our  front  behind 
the  intervening  ridges,  while  from  their  redoubts,  as  fast  as 
completed,  they  give  us  a  raking  fire  in  different  directions. 
Elliott's  South  Carolina  Brigade  is  now  immediately  on  our 
right,  with  the  left  resting  on  a  section  of  Wright's  Virginia 
Battery  in  the  Jerusalem  road.  They  are  the  first  to  receive 
the  compliments  of  the  enemy  to-day,  and  get  material  as- 
sistance from  the  right  wing  of  the  Fifty-sixth  ISTorth  Car- 
olina, as  our  line  following  the  lay  of  the  ground  trends  from 
him  to  the  northeast,  and  thus  commands  a  portion  of  Elliott's 
front  across  the  road,  as  his  faces  east. 

Soon  after  midday  over  the  ridges  just  described  the  en- 
emy to  the  south  of  the  road  is  seen  advancing  in  splendid 
array  five  columns  deep  and  with  perfect  alignments.  On 
they  come  over  half  the  distance,  with  few  shots  wasted  on 
them.  Now  the  battle  opens  in  earnest,  and  they  make  a 
dash  for  Elliott's  lines.  But  in  vain.  They  reel  before  the 
well-directed  fire  of  the  men  who  were  trv'ing  to  make  every 
shot  tell.     The  ranks  waver,  break  and  rally  again,  only  to 

364  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-'65. 

meet  a  similar  reception.  A  Federal  officer,  mounted  on  a 
beautiful  gray,  is  seen  gathering  group  after  group  about  him 
upon  which  to  ronrganize  a  line  of  battle,  as  he  dashed  about 
the  field. 

The  best  marksmen  in  the  Fifty-sixth  North  Carolina  suc- 
cessively try  to  bring  him  down,  and  a  Captain's  shot  cuts  a 
small  limb  just  over  his  head.  It  was  felt  that  if  he  went 
down,  the  charge  was  over  on  that  side  of  the  road.  But  the 
death  of  such  a  man  would  not  only  be  a  loss  to  his  country, 
but  to  humanity ;  and  the  charge  not  being  renewed,  it  is  a 
satisfaction  even  on  this  side  to  know  that  he  escaped.  Now 
their  artillery  seems  detenuined  to  make  our  regimental  right 
wing  its  target  in  revenge  for  our  deadly  cross-fire ;  but  their 
gunners  come  in  for  our  best  attention,  though  at  such  a  dis- 
tance, and  their  fire  materially  slackens.  B\it  in  this  can- 
nonading we  lost  the  commander  of  our  right  wing.  Captain 
F.  N.  Roberts.  Faithful  to  every  duty,  his  genial  presence 
always  brought  good  cheer  with  it,  and  no  one  in  the  whole 
brigade  was  more  universally  beloved.  To  every  camp-fire 
he  was  always  a  welcome  addition. 

Company  D  barely  escaped  a  wholesale  slaughter.  A  shell 
ricochetting  across  the  field,  bounded  into  the  trench ;  but 
'[uick  as  tliought,  Jolm  Alvis  Parker  had  it  ii])on  his  spade 
and  hurled  it  back,  with  the  simple  exclamation,  "Get  out  of 
here."  It  exploded  as  it  went  over.  There  was  no  braver 
deed  during  the  war. 

Next  the  storm  shifts  to  the  left  of  our  salient,  along  the 
fronts  of  the  left  wing  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  the  Twenty-fifth 
and  the  Thirty-fifth.  The  charge  is  delivered  just  as  Field's 
Division,  of  the  Anny  of  Northern  Virginia,  have  come  up 
the  line  from  tlic  left  as  far  as  this  salient  and  ravine,  and 
that  Iialf  of  Ransom's  Brigade  is  about  to  be  replaced.  They 
thus  find  a  double  line  ready  for  them,  though  crowded  into 
unfinished  works.  The  commander  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  now  on 
the  left,  says:  ''At  this  ])oint  the  fine  array  of  the  troops  of 
Gen.  Grant,  who  had  also  l)een  sent  to  the  south  side  of  the  Ap- 
pomattox, could  lie  seen;  and  the  old  flag  floating  proudly  to 
the  breeze,  recalled  memories  of  other  days,  when  covering 
a  united  countrv,  and  eoidd  but  (^xtort  a  feelinj::  of  adniira- 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  365 

tion  for  the  men  so  proudly  advancing  beneath  its  folds,  as 
foeinen  worthy  of  our  steel."  But  they  recoil  before  the  with- 
ering fire.  The  first  act  in  the  bloody  drama,  south  of  the 
Jerusalem  road,  is  simply  here  repeated.  This  is  about  3 
p.  m.,  and  here  this  commander.  Major  John  W.  Graham,  re- 
ceive*  a  flesh  wound  through  the  right  arm,  retiring  him  from 
duty.  That  portion  of  liansom's  Brigade  is  then  relieved  by 

The  open  ground  and  ravine  necessary  to  be  crossed  in  pass- 
ing the  artillery  at  the  salient,  delay  our  relief  from  moving 
further  to  the  right  until  darkness  shall  conceal  the  move- 
ments that  there  are  no  sufiicient  trenches  to  cover.  Mean- 
while the  enemy  is  organizing  a  movement  against  the  other 
portion  of  Faison's  brigade  line  held  by  the  Twenty-fourth 
and  the  right  wing  of  the  Fifty-sixth,  from  the  right  on  the 
Jerusalem  road  back  northward  to  this  hill  that  we  were  so 
anxious  this  morning  to  render  secure  against  the  enemy's 
investment.  Last  night  they  had  been  routed  by  a  forlorn 
hope,  a  single  line  of  battle,  that  had  left  its  own  position  va- 
cant and  driven  them  from  a  captured  section.  They  may 
now  hope  to  find  a  weak  joint  in  our  harness,  if  we  have 
practiced  a  similar  strategy  to  give  them  the  last  two 
bloody  repulses  to-day.  Their  troops  are  rapidly  massed 
now  in  our  immediate  front,  and  rush  to  cover  below 
us  along  the  nm  at  the  foot  of  the  steep  hill.  Just  before 
sundown  they  advance  up  the  slope,  and  it  is  with  difiiculty 
that  the  ardor  of  the  men  to  fire  at  the  first  view  of 
them  is  restrained ;  but  they  appreciate  the  order  to  wait 
until  they  can  sight  the  belt-buckle  as  a  target,  when  one 
or  two  well-directed  rounds  ends  the  business  of  the  day,  and 
it  is  thought  with  greater  loss  to  them  than  on  either  our 
right  or  left,  as  this  time  they  have  been  allowed  to  come  in 
speaking  distance. 

Thus  the  day  closes ;  but  at  the  foot  of  this  salient,  the 
enemy,  out  of  reach  of  shot  and  shell,  has  come  to  stay,  as  pre- 
dicted to  the  engineer  this  morning.  But  more  of  this  here- 

In  the  night  Kershaw's  Division  moved  up  our  lines  as 
we  march  out  under  a  sharp  musketry  fire  of  the  enemy, — 

3G6  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'65. 

doubtless,  from  the  commotion,  expecting  a  counter-charge. 
We  hear  this  was  soon  followed  by  a  second  charge  on  our 
position,  only  with  increased  loss.  John  Clark,  of  Orange, 
was  credited  with  having  unhorsed  a  field  or  general  officer 
in  til  is  battle. 

In  the  unique  affair  of  last  night,  the  loss  of  the  gallant 
Lieutenant,  Cornelius  Spivey,  of  Company  E,  killed  on  the 
field,  should  have  been  noted.  Also  that  that  faithful  and 
intrepid  officer,  Captain  Thomas  P.  Savilles,  of  Company  A, 
of  Camden,  was  severely  wounded  through  the  arm  just  as 
the  forward  movement  began,  and  immediately  reporting  to 
the  Captain  of  Company  D  that  this  left  his  company  without 
an  officer,  requested  that  he  would  lead  both  companies,  as 
he  was  knocked  out,  and  must  retire.  But  the  present  recol- 
lection is  that  upon  the  suggestion  that  it  would  be  found 
pleasanter  behind  the  enemy's  guns,  than  before  them,  he 
pushed  forward  wdth  the  first  to  enter  their  lines.  Any  of- 
ficer might  well  be  proud  to  connnand  Company  A  on  any 
occasion.  They  were  mostly  young  men,  laughing  in  the 
face  of  danger,  and  bearing  the  fatigues  of  tlie  campaign  with 
a  cheerfulness  that  was  an  inspiration  to  all  around  them. 
Captain  Savilles  was  their  worthy  Captain.  Captain  Noah 
H.  Hughes,  after  holding  out  with  a  wonderful  tenacity, 
had  broken  down  and  died  in  a  Kichmond  hospital  the  first 
of  the  month.  His  worth  was  attested  by  the  affectionate 
attachment  and  admiration  of  such  a  company. 

19  June.  The  brigade  remains  in  reserve,  the  Twenty- 
fourth,  Twenty-ninth  and  Fifty-sixth  in  bivouac  on  the 
Plank  road,  near  the  comer  of  Sycamore  street,  leading  to 
New  Market.  We  are  not  beyond  the  long  range  of  the  en- 
emy's rifles,  and  with  little  shelter  find  the  sun  very  oppres- 

A  letter  of  20  June,  1864,  from  Sergeant  M.  Cagle,  gave 
the  following  additional  casualties  of  Company  B  in  late  en- 
gagements: "Wounded:  Sergeant  L.  H.  Hurst,  Corporal 
Holmes,  Henry  Usry,  Olin  Jackson  (arm  lost),  Calvin  Cul- 
breth,  B.  C.  Johnson,  Joel  Hudson  (mortally),  B.  F.  Ken- 
drick,  E.  T.  Gardner,  Joel  Barefoot,  and  D.  Vann.  Missing: 
W.  L.  Brown,  Wm.  Bowden,  J.  D.  Blizzard,  L.  L.  Tart  and 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  367 

!Fumey  Wood.  Most  of  the  above  occurred  in  tlie  night 
charge  of  the  17th  instant.  The  company  greatly  deplores 
the  loss  of  Captain  F.  iST.  Robei'ts.  He  was  highly  esteemed 
and  greatly  beloved  by  all  the  regiment." 


22  June.  The  Brigade  reports  to  Lieutenant-General  A. 
P.  Hill,  on  the  extreme  right  to  the  south  of  the  city  near  the 
Jones  house.  He  attacks  the  left  flank  of  the  enemy,  cap- 
turing about  1,600  prisoners,  with  very  small  loss  on  our  side, 
Lane's  and  Scales'  Xorth  Carolina  Brigades  leading  the  as- 
sault, our  regiment  being  in  reserve. 

23  June.  Xear  the  scene  of  yesterday's  action  we  make  a 
further  protest  against  Grant's  pei^petual  extension  by  the 
left  flank,  and  present  towards  him  a  line  of  breastworks  run- 
ning off  south  from  our  south  front  at  a  right  angle  and  fac- 
ing east.  This  completed,  Elliott's  and  Ransom's  Brigades 
return  to  the  east  of  the  city  after  night. 

24  June.  At  midnight  the  Brigade  moves  out  again,  still 
imder  the  command  of  Colonel  P.  F.  Faison,  of  the  Fifty- 
sixth,  and  enters  the  line  to  the  south  of  the  Petersburg  & 
]N^orfolk  Railroad.  There  is  no  covered  way  here,  and  the 
movement,  liable  to  draw  a  fusillade  from  the  enemy  at  short 
range,  at  the  least  noise,  is  necessarily  executed  very  slowly 
over  the  exposed  ground.  Thus  daylight  finds  two  lines  of 
troops  '^occupying  the  same  space."  There  is  a  gap  in  the 
works  caused  by  a  stream  of  water  immediately  on  our  left, 
towards  which  we  are  moving.  So  we  remain  close  neigh- 
bors until  night  shall  come  again  to  enable  the  troops  we  are 
relieving  to  get  out  quietly.  In  the  progress  of  the  siege, 
(though  the  word  up  to  this  date  may  as  appropriately  be 
applied  to  either  of  the  contending  annies,  each  behind  strong 
works  and  each  with  its  line  of  supplies  still  intact),  such 
streams  are  dammed  to  form  impassable  ponds  in  front  of 
the  lines. 

25  June.  Day  is  breaking  before  we  are  fairly  in  posi- 
tion. The  left  of  the  brigade  rests  on  the  N'orfolk  Railroad. 
We  hear  that  General  Lee,  in  that  spirit  of  banter  with  which 
he  would  occasionally  pay  a  compliment,  says  of  our  sue- 

368  North  Carolina  Troops,   1801 -'65. 

cessful,  though  unexpected,  night  charge  of  the  17th  instant, 
whieli  restored  the  broken  line,  and  further  checked  the  en- 
(■iii\'s  advance,  that  he  has  had  other  troops  to  straggle  to 
the  rear,  hut  Ransom's  are  the  first  to  straggle  to  the  front. 

I  hit  of  more  serious  import  is  his  declaration,  as  repeated 
to  us:  ''I  now  have  General  Grant  just  where  I  want  liim." 
His  whole  demeanor  shows  that  he  is  perfectly  sincere  in  this, 
and  the  army  is  inspired  by  the  same  buoyant  hope.  He 
has  seen  many  of  his  bravest  and  best  men  go  down  in  the  last 
sixty  days,  hut  it  is  well  known  that  the  enemy  taking  the 
initiative  against  him  in  this  campaign,  have  suffered  fright- 
fully, and  it  is  thought  no  exaggeration  to  estimate  the  total 
loss  on  that  side  so  far  as  equal  to  Lee's  total  effective  opposed 
to  him  through  the  long  series  of  bloody  engagements  from 
the  Wilderness  to  Petersburg.  (Statistics  have  since  fully 
confirmed  this.) 

progress  of  titk  siege. 

Lee's  line  protecting  Richmond  and  Pctei*sburg,  facing 
north,  east,  south  and  then  east  again,  now  extends  consider- 
ably over  thirty  miles.  He  still  has  tlie  railways  to  Weldon, 
and  to  Danville  intact  for  supplies,  and  Virginia  and  North 
Carolina  have  united  and  completed  a  connection  between 
Danville  and  Greensboro,  the  people  of  Mecklenburg,  North 
Carolina,  contributing  the  rails  of  the  line  but  recently  laid 
between  Charlotte  and  Davidson  College. 

Our  first  duty  now  is  to  make  our  ditclies,  that  we  will  in 
all  probability,  occupy  for  some  time  while  awaiting  develop- 
ments, as  strong  and  comfortable  as  we  can.  Bnish  is 
brought  in  from  the  rear  to  construct  bootlis  for  sliade,  and 
blanket  houses  are  set  up  and  staked  by  a  simple  device  with 
horizontal  poles  on  forki'd  posts;  the  inner  facinii;  .f  the 
breastworks  is  strengthened  witli  revetments  of  tind>er;  the 
streets  and  sinks  kept  thorougidy  ])oli('ed  ;  and  safe  covered- 
ways  construct^^d  at  convenient  intervals  to  avoid  the  losses 

incident  to  a  beleaguered  line  of  l)attle  and  its  c miunica- 

tions.  We  are  now  becoming  familiar  with  a  new  engine  of 
destruction,  the  mortar  gun.     The  name  is  derived  from  its 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  369 

resemblance  to  the  domestic  utensil.  It  is  remarkable  with 
Avhat  accuracy  a  shell  thrown  out  at  an  elevation  of  from  45  to 
75  degrees  may  be  made  to  come  down  on  a  given  point.  A 
cannon  ball  passes  sO'  swiftly  that  it  leaves  the  whistling 
sound  through  the  air  to  follow  it ;  but  the  mortar  shell  slowly 
revolving  in  its  descent  overhead,  aided  by  the  hissing  of  the 
fuse,  heard  first  on  one  side,  then  on  the  other,  leaves  its  audi- 
ence in  a  state  of  uncertainty,  not  to  say  anxiety,  as  tO'  which 
seat  the  stranger  intends  to  take.  To'  the  question  addressed 
to  a  young  Captain  by  one  of  his  company,  "Don't  you  dread 
those  mortar  shells  more  than  anything  else  ?"  the  reply  was 
made :  "j^o ;  they  are  the  first  things  I  have  yet  encountered 
that  a  man  ought  not  to  be  afraid  of."  "How  is  that?" 
"Why,  the  oinniverous  beast  is  a  ventriloquist;  you  cannot 
dodge  it ;  and  it  is  a  poor  philosophy  that  fears  what  it  can- 
not avoid." 

For  days  the  losses  on  both  sides  are  considerable  from  this 
annoyance.  Then  bomb  proofs  are  constructed  by  making 
perpendicular  excavations  immediately  behind  the  trenches 
along  covered  ways  leading  to  tliem  or  beyond ;  over  these 
square  or  oblong  recesses  are  laid  stout  logs ;  then  a  bed  of 
leaves ;  and  on  that  a  mound  of  earth.  Gradually  sleeping- 
apartments  were  thus  supplied  along  our  whole  eastern  front, 
as  at  any  point  along  this  line,  battle  might  be  delivered  at 
any  time,  night  or  day.  The  men  thus  protected  began 
jocosely  to  treat  mortar-shelling  as  an  entertainment ;  and  it 
was  not  out  of  order  for  veterans  to  run  to  cover  when  the 
play  began.  As  the  siege  progressed,  unexploded  shells  and 
fragments  were  gathered  by  our  ordnance  department,  and 
payment  made  tO'  the  soldiers  who'  brought  them  in  from  the 
field.  A  whole  shell  was  a  prize,  and  races  were  made  in 
some  instances  for  them  while  yet  in  mid-air,  with  such  excla- 
mations as:  "That's  mine,  I  saw  it  first;"  and,  "No,  you  are 
out  of  its  range;  it  is  coming  my  way."  It  might  explode  in 
mid-air,  or  after  striking  the  ground ;  but  that  was  viewed 
rather  as  a  matter  of  disg-ust  than  of  fear.  Mortar  guns  of 
proper  calibre  were  specially  cast  by  the  Confederates  to  re- 
turn some  of  these  shells  to  the  enemy. 

370  North  Carolina  Troops,   1861-'C5. 

fokt  hell  and  moktak  bed, 

Strong  forts  for  heavy  ordnance  and  at  points  most  threat- 
ened, especially  the  salients  and  on  the  cavalier  lines,  are 
constructed  and  mounted.  Of  course  this  was  not  the  work 
of  a  day,  nor  a  M'eok,  nor  a  month,  but  goes  on  steadily,  one 
third  of  the  coimiiiind  under  arms,  the  others  working  by  de- 
tails. Where  the  distance  between  the  lines  will  ])ennit,  a 
picket  line  is  established  and  protected  by  rifle  pits.  This  is 
tiuihiuhI  c^icli  night  to  prevent  a  surprise,  and  the  skirmish- 
ers withdrawn  therefrom  at  daylight.  Near  the  salient  occu- 
pied by  the  portion  of  Pegram's  Virginia  Battery,  on  which 
the  centre  of  the  Fifty-sixth  Kegiment  rested  in  the  battle  of 
18  June,  tlie  enemy  have  gradually  dug  in  towards  our  line 
irntil  they  are  in  speaking  distance.  Here  at  the  slightest 
commotion,  taken  as  a  demonstration  on  either  side,  an  in- 
ce-ssant  musketry  fire  is  begun  and  continued  through  the 
night.     The  point  is  called  "Fort  Hell." 

The  field  where  our  line  crosses  the  Norfolk  Railroad  is 
called  "The  Mortar  Bed,"  for  a  similar  reason.  These  mis- 
siles are  rained  upon  Colquitt's  salient  facing  Fort  Stedman 
at  the  crest  of  the  hill,  here  nearest  the  railway,  and  upon  the 
cavalier  line  immediately  behind  it.  But' the  daily  returns 
have  almost  ceased  to  show  casualties  from  the  mortars. 
There  is  no  difficulty  in  catching  a  sight  of  these  shells 
against  a  white  cloud  in  the  air  after  the  report  of  the  gun, 
and  before  they  have  reached  the  altitude  from  which  they 
are  to  descend ;  but  with  a  clear  sky,  the  first  warning  of  its 
vicinity  may  be  the  puzzling  hiss  of  the  fuse  in  its  descent. 

27  June.  Wm.  Cole  died  of  wounds  received  in  the  bat- 
tle of  the  18th  instant.  He  was  an  exemplary  citizen  and 
a  good  soldier.  4  July,  James  R.  Miller  is  wounded  on  the 
skinnish  line  guard  duty. 

22  July.  Wm.  J.  Tinnin  is  mortally  wounded,  and  dies 
on  the  23d.  He  had  sei'ved  faithfully  as  First  Sergeant,  and 
in  the  diflScult  position  of  Commissary  Sergeant.  On  this 
date  Thomas  C.  Scarlett  was  severely  wounded. 


The  Army  of  Northern  Virginia,  to  which  Beauregard's 

[the  new  "s^oR^I 



1.  T.  P.  Savillps,  Captain,  Co.  A. 

2.  ,  Henry  Williams,  Private,  Co.  A, 

3.  Frank  N.  Roberts,  Captain,  Co.  B. 

4.  J.  A.  KiuK.  -M  Lieut.,  Co.  B. 

0.     J.  K.  B.  Walker,  Private,  Co.  B. 


D.  M.  McDonald,  2d  Lieut.,  Co.  B. 
Wni.  J.  McDonald,  Private,  Co.  B. 
.Joseph  G.  Lockliart,  Captain,  Co.  E. 
Jarvis  B   Liitterloli,  1st  Lieut.,  Co.  E. 

(^Picture  in  Supplementary  Group,  -Ith  vol.) 

Fifty-Sixth  Regiment.  371 

army  has  been  transferred  as  the  Fourth  Corps,  under  Gen- 
eral 11.  H.  Anderson  (  Longstreet  having  recovered  from  his 
Wilderness  wound  and  returned  to  his  old  corps),  has  now 
successfully  withstood  attacks  from  front,  rear,  flank,  and 
overhead.  Is  there  any  other  direction  on  earth  from  which 
the  ingenuity  of  man  may  hope  to  approach  ?  ISTo.  But 
there  is  an  untried  route  under  the  earth.  Early  in 
this  month,  the  enemy  began  running  tunnels  from  two  or 
three  different  points  to  undennine  our  lines.  Our  sap- 
pers and  miners  go  down  into  the  earth  to  meet  them,  and 
time  after  time,  while  Brigade  Officer  of  the  Day,  has 
the  writer  placed  his  ear  to  the  wall  of  a  tunnel  cut  beneath 
Colquitt's  salient,  sometimes  occupied  by  our  brigade,  but 
was  unable  to  distinguish  any  sound  different  from  the  nat- 
ural roaring  experience  by  closing  the  ear.  All  along 
our  line,  at  points  facing  practical  bases  on  their  side 
for  such  underground  operations,  we  were  boring  for  them 
with  our  long  range  augers.  These  augers  were  constructed 
with  poles  for  handles,  and  on  the  larger  end  a  fold  of  sheet 
iron  or  steel  securely  fastened,  which  w^ith  two  upright  edges 
lacking,  say,  two  inches  of  coming  together,  formed  the  bit 
of  the  chisel.  As  fast  as  these  filled  with  the  compact  earth 
in  digging,  they  were  withdrawn  and  cleaned  out  with  a  bay- 
onet. A  depth  of  twenty-five  feet  had  failed  to  disclose  the 
modem  catacomb.  But  evidently  great  expectations  are 
raised  over  the  way,  and  we  must  be  on  the  qui  vive.  Three 
o'clock  each  morning  now  finds  us  in  full  line  of  battle,  there 
to  remain  until  the  sun  is  fully  up. 


30  July.  Six  weeks  ago  to-day  occurred  the  dispute  over 
the  location  of  the  line  to  defend  the  first  salient  at  the  ravine 
north  of  the  Jerusalem  road,  then  held  by  the  right  centre 
company  of  the  Fifty-sixth  E'orth  Carolina  State  Troops. 
Meanwhile  our  brigade  has  moved  one  space  to  the  left,  re- 
placed by  Elliott's.  To-day  the  spot  takes  its  place  in  history 
to  be  remembered  long  after  the  disputants  shall  have  been 
forgotten.  At  sunrise,  as  our  line  of  battle  was  about  to  break 
ranks  for  another  day,  a  dull  thud  is  heard  to  our  right  and  a 

372  North  Carolina  Troops,  1861-65. 

cloud  of  dust  and  suiokc  liides  the  horizon.  This  salient  has 
thus  become  tlu^  centre  of  the  Crater  at  Petersburi;'.  Soon 
after  tlie  lodg-nient  at  its  foot,  to  which  they  had  been  repulsed, 
on  the  l<Sth  ult.,  the  idea  of  spriniiinii:  a  mine  here  occurred  to 
tlic  cueniy  (original ing'  witli  Lieutenant-Colonel  Pleasants,  a 
coal  miner  of  Pennsylvania),  and  now  under  the  complete 
cover  afforded,  and  with  the  racket  at  Fort  Hell,  they  have  at 
last  effected  it.  It  was  to  have  been  exploded  while  it  was  yet 
dark ;  but  the  fuse  went  out  and  had  to  be  relit.  The  im- 
mediate loss  to  us  is  256  men  from  the  Twenty-second  South 
C'ar(dina  Ilegiment  of  Elliott's  South  Carolina  Brigade,  and 
the  detachment  still  there  from  Pegram's  Battery.  A  field 
piece  of  ours  here  carried  up  by  the  explosion,  falls  across  the 
enemy's  line,  so  close  are  they  at  this  point.  The  smoke  and 
dust  have  not  cleared  away  before  Colonel  L.  M.  McAfee,  in 
command  of  Ransom's  Brigade,  is  moving  the  Twenty-fifth, 
now  on  our  right  under  Major  W.  S.  Grady,  and